Can anyone please identify this plant?

lucyfretwell(ireland)September 9, 2012

I have always assumed this to be a Virginia Creeper but , since it has started to give trouble , I have started to research it and apparently Virginia Creeper leaves are separated into 5 separate leaves (a bit like the 5 fingers on the hand) whereas this plant's leaf could be described as a hand having 3 "joined like a duck's" fingers.

Apart from that it seems very similar to a Virginia Creeper although I would say it is a little redder than the "true" Virginia Creepers that I have seen.

I cannot find any pictures on the internet that are identical to the one I have posted (I can post others if necessary)

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The image isn't real clear, but it looks like grape Ivy. Do a search for 'grape Ivy' and see if that's what you have. In any case, you probably will want to remove it from the wall - it will start eroding the wall, given a bit of time.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Parthenocissus tricuspidata
most commonly known as "Boston Ivy"

The species is in the same genus as
'Virginia Creeper" but is a slightly different species
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Hope that helps,



    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:31PM
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To follow up from Ron, virtually the exact same plant......with the difference being only the foliage shape. 'Tricuspidata' essentially translates to "three pointed", meaning the shape/form of the leaves, while 'quinquefolia' means "five leaved".

FWIW, neither of these vines/creepers erode walls. They can dislodge deteriorating mortar between bricks or stone but good condition, solid mortar is perfectly safe as are other wall surfaces like wood, stucco, aluminum siding, etc. Boston ivy (P. tricuspidata) is the vining creeper that covers the walls of all the 'Ivy League' colleges and countless other universities across the country. In most cases, the vine has been there for many, many years. And the buildings haven't fallen down yet :-)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:33PM
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thanks all.Yes I had thought it could be Boston Ivy and had even done an image search on Google for it.

Clearly I didn't look closely enough since I can now see that it is indeed Boston Ivy.

As I now have to replace this plant is it safe to do so or could the ground be infected ?(the plant weakened and died over the course of 2 or 3 years and I remember learning that with a cherry tree ,to take an example ,it was normally unsafe to replant in the same place)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 7:59PM
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With very few exceptions, replanting in the same location for any plant is not an issue. Some soil pathogens are very persistant and can remain active in the soil for many years.......if your plant was susceptible to and contracted and died as the result of one of these soil pathogens, then it is not a good idea to replant with the same species.

To the best of my knowledege, parthenocissus is NOT prone to any of these common soil diseases so I would think replanting with the same vine a non-issue :-)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:22PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A note of interest about Boston ivy and how its growth is perceived from a practical standpoint comes from Yale University, which has finally been able to remove all of its ivy growth from the venerable buildings. It does do considerable damage and that damage is hidden from view by the lush foliage until the repairs required are extremely expensive. Other historical edifices will certainly follow suit.

The bitter squawking from alumni and others soon disappears, lol.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:15PM
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