Virginia Creeper, Beach Botany


The Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, is a perennial member of the Vitaceae (grape) family; a climbing woody vine that can reach 40’. Vines have tendrils with adhesive sucker disks to fasten to leaves. Leaves are compound with five (rarely 3 or 7) elliptic-shaped leaflets with a pointed tip, toothed margins and palmate venation. Leaflets are 3” to 6” long and wide.

Flowers, about 1/8” in size, grow in clusters and bloom in spring. The corolla has five drooping, brownish petals and in the center are five stamens with yellow anthers and a reddish ovary-bearing pistil above the petals. Inflorescence is panicle. Fruit are berries ¼” in diameter.

Quinquefolia is distributed in almost every Florida county. Habitat is any tree growing in a hammock. It can be found in every U.S. state. Quinquefolia is the only species in the Genus Parthenocissus. The photo is of a plant found on my street.