Virginia Creeper Berries

Remember we’ve told you that five leaf vine, otherwise known as Virginia Creeper, is a valuable wildlife food?  Its berries are setting on now, and will ripen to a purplish color before the birds attack them with gusto. Please human readers, DO NOT eat them. The berries contain oxalic acid, which is toxic—poisonous—to humans and mammals. We squirrels do not eat them either.

Virginia Creeper with Berries

We receive notes about Parthenocissus quinquefloia, Virginia Creeper, or five-leaved ivy, from our readers all over the United States. In full disclosure, this photo was sent to us by a Colorado resident. But we’re pretty sure it’s the same native plant found in the east and central states.

We have many posts about this common vine and how it can be identified to tell it apart from poison ivy. Use our search bar to look up the past posts.

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2 thoughts on “Virginia Creeper Berries

  1. Oxalic Acid, in it’s natural form, is not poisonous unless you eat a Huge quantity. Then you might experience a stomach ache….like when I used to eat green apples i.e. apples that were not ripe yet. Many vegetables, nuts and fruits contain Oxalic Acid. Such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries. Virginia Creeper is recommended by Audubon Society for your backyard habitat and migrating birds. I read this epage and then went hunting. I concluded that your site is wrong. I would appreciate it if you would update your information.
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/300751-oxalic-acid-in-vegetables/
    http://blog.audubonguides.com/2012/03/23/a-creeper-by-any-other-name/

    • Thanks for looking these up, Laura. While Oxalic Acid is found in other foods and fine for human consumption, one of my sources said Virginia Creeper berries were not to be eaten by humans. As a policy, The Squirrel Nutwork does not recommend wild foods. Readers are encouraged to do their own research for what wild plants are edible, as you have.
      Nutmeg

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