Virginia Creeper – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

July 21, 2013 Case News

Common Name: Virginia Creeper

Botanical Name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia

virginia_creeperWe had a wonderful few days off last week, and took a few day trips to visit some of our favorite Kootenay places. Fishing on Slocan Lake aboard my good friend Jim’s new boat, and an opportunity to stop in Silverton to swim and walk about this beautiful village with its many wonderful, public landscaped areas!  On our walk back from the beach, we came across a planting of Virginia Creeper that was used as a ground cover over a rather steep and rocky bank – boy did it do the job! Virginia Creeper not only grows up trellises and buildings of over 50 feet (if you have ever seen the court house in Nelson you will know what I mean) but will creep along the ground to hide unwanted features as well. Virginia Creeper is very fast growing, and blooms from June through August with tiny, yellowish-green florets. These flowers form purple berries that can be harmful if ingested, however the rest of the plant was used in many herbal remedies. Its five lobed leaves are green, but are tinted with red when they first emerge in the spring, turning to a deep fiery red when the fall frosts hit, absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes confused with poison Ivy, we learned an old nursery rhyme in Boy Scouts to tell the difference – “Leaves of three, let it be; leaves of five let it thrive”

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