Five leaflets…it’s Virginia Creeper

We haven’t posted a Virginia Creeper-Poison Ivy comparison lately.

This first is Virginia Creeper, with its five leaflets to every leaf–which is not always the case! Virginia Creeper can have fewer and more than five leaflets.

Virginia Creeper

And this second photo is Poison Ivy…a very worn poison ivy, but you should be able to see the three leaflets on each leaf.

Poison Ivy

Check out these vines on your next hike!

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Virginia Creeper, the Five Leaf Vine

Hickory and I decided it must be time to remind all you human readers what Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissis quinquefoila, looks like. Believe it or not, many, many of you trying to identify this five leaf–not three leaf–vine find your way to The Squirrel Nutwork.

Virginia Creeper new leaf color

Virginia Creeper, as the name implies, is a native plant. Because the new leaves can emerge with only three leaflets, and are also red tinged, it’s often mistaken for Poison Ivy, which we featured on our Nature’s Mysteries on April 24. That means Virginia Creeper often gets ripped up and we hate to see that happen. It does vine and can take over areas, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad plant to have around. The broad leaves make a great ground cover. Mammals, maybe a bit smaller than us, can play hide and seek in them. Actually, they might really be hiding. I know the toads Hickory surprises are.  Many moth caterpillars eat these leaves, and the berries are eaten by scads of birds, and us, too!

Just not by humans! These berries are poisonous to humans! Don’t ever think you can eat something a squirrel does.

If you’d like to test yourself to see if you can tell Virginia Creeper and Poison Ivy apart, here is a Mysteries post we ran last June with many photos. Have fun!

V is for Virginia Creeper on Thirsty Thursday

Fine, fine, this plant is related in no way to water, or ponds, although this particular individual grows at the edge of the yard that has that new pond we’ve been watching.

Virginia Creeper climbing fence

I’m posting it as my ‘V’ feature for the Blogging A To Z Challenge because Virginia Creeper is one of the most popular reasons human folks find us, searching under ‘five leaf vine’. And of course, I couldn’t find anything starting with ‘V’.

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, is a vine. It grows along the ground and up anything to which it can attach its aerial roots. It is not poisonous. Nutmeg has expounded on this vine that many humans mistake for poison ivy back in June, so I’m not gonna repeat her words. Go look at descriptions and photos here!