Please help me id vicious vine --

Goldylocks(z7 MDsuburbDC)July 5, 2005

I posted a pic in the gallery section asking for your help to ID a vine that virtually assaulted me, and was advised to try posting it here. The mean vine has seven leaflets, toothed, with a stem that is reddish in parts, slightly hairy, and (its most distinctive feature) very sticky. I planted it innocently in several places after it sprouted nicely in a wintersown container labeled clematis ---- well, not! In one border it grew at least 30 feet and when I pulled it up, my hand and arm were lacerated by the stem glue ripping off strips and flesh and drawing blood. It didn't seem THAT sticky touching it but apparently where it dragged across my skin it latched tight. I fairly certain it is not Virgina creeper because I am told that VC is not sticky and it doesn't look like the VC pix I have examined. Also sure it is not poison ivy. Doesn't look like it and didn't cause any allergic reaction even though I have reacted to PI in the past. Just feel a great need to know my foe, so I would really appreciatee any help!

Thanks a lot, Leslie

Image link:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Virgina creeper has 5 leaflets and poison ivy has 3. Your vine looks like blackberry bramble to me, which may have 3 to 7 leaflets.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Goldylocks(z7 MDsuburbDC)

Thanks for the suggestion, but I am pretty sure it is not blackberry either, because there are no brambles, or "thorns", or prickles. Just the amazing adhesive properties along the whole length of the stem.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 1:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Leslie, does it have a smell?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bcday(z5 NY)

I wonder if what you have is Japanese hops (Humulus japonicus).

The description says the leaves have 5 lobes, but I notice that in some pics the two lobes nearest the petiole are divided to make it seem that the leaf has 7 lobes.

One description that seems to fit your vine is at

Close-up of one leaf is at

Link to a good pic of the whole plant is below.

-- BC --

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Goldylocks(z7 MDsuburbDC)

I think you may be right bc. The pics definitely look like it and what I read indicates that it is very fast growing and invasive, which certainly fits. The one puzzle is that Japanese hops is described as having downward pointing prickles on the stems and mine is not prickly but sticky. Maybe mine is still young and the hairs will mature into prickles if I gave them the chance -- NOT!

Unless someone comes up with a better guess, I think I will give you the nonexistent prize. It is on my state's noxious weeds list so it is outta here!

Thank you so much,

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bcday(z5 NY)

The 'prickles' aren't very big -- they aren't big thorns like you would see on a rose or a blackberry stem. One description called the prickles 'stiff hairs'. The web site below calls them 'hooked hairs', which sounds close to your description that called them velcro. Apparently the vines use these hairs to cling and climb on things.

I was amazed to find that people plant these things in their gardens as ornamentals, and the web site below calls them "desirable gardening and commercial species"!

Hope you can get rid of yours.

--BC --

Here is a link that might be useful: Humulus japonicus vines are covered with hooked hairs

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Goldylocks(z7 MDsuburbDC)

You definitely have it! I came home and took a very close look at the stems of the remaining plants and sure enough hooked hairs covers it. And if I stroke it from the
top toward the ground it is fairly smooth whereas if I stroke upward it grabs my skin. downward pointing indeed! Bad news and extremely invasive and fast growing. banned in quite a number of states. Thank you so much for helping me ID it!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Not sure about your weed, but up here in pa if you use mushroom soil to add humus to your beds, you get a vine which looks like yours. The blasted stuff feels very prickery and grabs at you because the entire thing is covered with small hairs which act like Velcro and hang on to anything they touch. I've never been able to identify it for certain, but luckily it's an annual and can be killed out by weeding for 2 seasons to get all the delayed germinating seeds.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm pretty sure I have the same thing. I live in NH so I have no idea how this thing is growing in my woods; it's not on our invasive species list. I was baffled and kept thinking I was seeing things when this huge vine started climbing up my birch trees and crawled over to some pine trees. It ended up being over 30 ft. in the two weeks I watched it grow. I looked for hours to find anything that resembled it. I pulled it out by the root stem which is apparently all you can do. There's a good picture of this and other invasives in this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: invasives

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 4:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
The battle against Bermuda
Tilled a new spot back in late summer. In my past experiences...
ID Invasive Vine Weed
Does anyone know the name of this weed? It's a vine...
Weed Indentification
It generates a ton of fluffy seed balls that blow with...
Bark mulch size
In my shrub garden, will large or small bark chunks...
ID weed, please
After living here 45 years, this plant (weed) began...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™