Is this Virginia Snakeroot?

mboston_gwJune 23, 2008

A couple years ago I ordered a Virginia Snakeroot. Last summer I watched for it to show up and never saw anything. This spring I noticed a vine in the area where I planted it and thought, "Gee, maybe that is it." I have transfered several small Pipevine Swallowtail cats to it but have not seen any real evidence of it being eaten back and haven't seen any big cats. So, Miss Sherry, and others is this my Virgina Snakeroot or something else?

Older leaves tend to get more heart shape.

It is growing up my Oak tree.

Young growth with elongated leaves.

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That may be crossvine, which I too have mistaken for snakeroot.

Snakeroot leaves alternate.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 12:49PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Samantha is right, Mary, your vine is undoubtedly crossvine - I've made the same mistake myself, because the leaves do look very similar. I've got lots of Va. snakeroot, and it's never gotten more than about 2' tall - if yours is growing up a tree, that alone eliminates the possibility of it being Va. snakeroot. It's still a wonderful host plant for pipevine swallowtails, because they can eat a plant down to the ground, and it'll regrow in no time!
Here's a picture of one of mine - the leaves are alternate in a sort of irregular fashion -

And here's a picture of some of my crossvine - the leaves, as Sam says, are opposite, and they're longer and thinner than Va. snakeroot leaves -


    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 2:35PM
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So I should leave it? You say it is still a host plant for the Pipevines? Then I wonder why the cats didn't take to it? I put a tender end of the vine in a florist tube and put a newly hatched cat on it and he kept crawling off of it. It has grown pretty quickly this spring and I know everyone says the Snakeroot doesn't. I was weeding in the area today and found another piece in the spot of the original - and it looks the same. The other piece that I took pictures from is about 2 ft away. I wonder if I could have been sent this instead of the Snakeroot. I have never seen Crossvine in my yard before and I sure didn't buy it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 3:05PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

No, I meant that Va. snakeroot is a host plant for pipevine swallowtails, not crossvine. Crossvine is reportedly a host for certain types of sphinx moths, can't remember which ones, and the flowers in the spring are beautiful. Plus it's a good hummingbird plant, and it's very easy to grow.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 3:08PM
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Thanks for clarifying, Miss Sherry. There goes my hopes of having something for the Pipevines. I have the white veined Pipevine but they don't seem to do well on it either. I have lost all that I tried to raise this year.

BTW, only one of my Giant Swallowtails made its chrysalis out of the two cats I raised. Both got so much bigger than any of my other Giant Swallowtails that I raised in the past. The 2nd of the two this year started making its chrysalis and I accidently moved the container not realizing it was in the process. It seemed to stop and never went back to finishing the chrysalis. I felt so bad as it was a beauty of a cat.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 4:47PM
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