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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Scientific Name: Parthenocissus spp.

Other Names: vigne vierge, parthénocisse

Family: Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae)

General Description: A climbing vine with compound leaves, occasionally has some leaves with only 3 leaflets, but usually there are 5, and its fruits are soft and bluish.

Habitat: Virginia creeper can be found growing in forest and along forest edges, on borders of clearing, and along fencerows and streambanks.


  • Climbing or trailing woody vine
  • New stems are brownish green and finely hairy, becoming purplish brown with raised dots


  • Compound with 5 leaflets
  • Leaflets 5-13 cm (2-6 in.) long with toothed margins
  • Red at first, turning green as they age
  • In fall leaves turn bright red


  • Inconspicuous
  • Green
  • In small clusters
  • Flowers in the spring


  • 4-6 mm in diameter
  • Bluish-black berry
  • Contains 2-3 seeds

Often Confused With
Poison Ivy – Poison ivy has 3 leaflets while Virginia creeper has 5.

Manitoba maple - Acer negundo L., have 3 leaflets instead of the usual 5, but its compound leaves are arranged in opposite pairs (2 per node) on the stems and the seeds are long and winged.

Caution: Although this plant is not poisonous to touch, as is Poison-ivy, its blue grape-like berries are poisonous if eaten.

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeperClick to enlarge.