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Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Identity

Common name: Virginia creeper
Origin: North America
Plant type: Climbing plant
Life cycle: Perennial
Code of conduct: Annex II
Invasive status (ISEIA protocol): Watch list
Main ornemental function: Climbing plant

Description

This factsheet is common for 2 similar species of virginia creeper : Parthenocissus inserta and P. quinquefolia. Those creepers can grow up to 15 m high along trees thanks to tendrils. P. quiquefolia has more ramified tendrils. Compound leaves with 5 leaflets. Toothed margins. Red coloured in autumn. Bark brown-red. Flowers are yellow-green. Fruits are blue berries. Melliferous

Spread

High dispersal potential. Fruits are consumed by birds which dispersed seeds over long distances. Fast growing rate. The plant grows horizontally or vertically. This plant escapes from gardens and is increasingly observed in nature.

Habitat

Originally observed in man-made habitat, these popular garden plants are increasingly observed in natural habitats like coastal dunes, riparian habitats and wood margins(P. inserta) or rock outcrops (P. quinquefolia). They usually thrives on nutrient-rich soils

Impact

Species classified B3 in Belgium. Considered as invasive in the United Kingdom and included in the watch list in Switzerland and France (Bretagne). Similar impact than Lonicera japonica (not yet present in the wild in Belgium). Those vines form dense curtains of interwined stems that may cover, outcompete and kill native vegetation. They may also overtop shrubs and canopy trees. However, competitive effects are rarely reported in the literature. Plant extracts have allelopathic properties. For more information, click here

Recommendation

(1) Avoid planting this species near rocky habitats, especially in the vicinity of protected areas (natural reserves, Natura 2000 sites, etc.) ; (2) cut the flowers at the end of flowering and before fructification in order to avoid seed dispersal.

Possible native alternative

Main ornemental function

Climbing plant

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