Day 282: Virginia creeper

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

Next-door’s Virginia creeper on this side of a six foot fence – a barrier it gleefully scorns

Next-door’s Virginia creeper on this side of a six foot fence – a barrier it gleefully scorns

The problem with creepers is that, when growing well, they don’t so much creep, as lollop, haul, claim and conquer. All plants defy gravity to a greater or lesser extent in their aerial parts, but a vine seems to have an extra measure of feistiness, the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) being no exception. Together with near relative Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata – the key to distinguishing one from the other is in the number of lobes or leaflets to each leaf, as suggested by the Latin names – three for the Bostonian, five for its Virginia cousin) this will rapidly claim any vertical territory it encounters, clinging on by means of sticky pads and, in the absence of a perpendicular object, will be more than happy to rampage across a horizontal plane. A firm hand is needed, then, but – O! That autumn colour! All is forgiven. 


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, blogger, podcaster, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking the image above.

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