Mar. 19, 2021

woodbine, Parthenocissus vitacea

I suspect many would look at this and say, "Virginia creeper!". They might not be wrong. The two (or three) are very alike. Technically, they are P. inserta, P. quinquefolia and/or P. vitacea. Flora of North America recognizes the first and last. Michigan Flora has P. inserta. Here I go with P. vitacea only because I have a more complete reference source that way. In any case the main difference is that P. i. and P. v. lack the adhesive discs on the ends of tendrils that enable P. q. to climb things it can't wind them around. So those beautiful red leaves you see going up tree trunks in the fall are like P. quinquefolia, while P. inserta more likely runs along the ground and around your feet. Both produce grape-like berries loved by wildlife but not humans. A final ID note - be careful if you're going to pull any of these off your backyard tree that poison ivy isn't included! According to FNA, this plant grows in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, QC, and SK. USDA adds VA. Ingham Co MI, 6/30/15. Grape family, Vitaceae.