Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Boston Ivy

{Picture of Boston Ivy}
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Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Scientific Name: Parthenocissus tricuspidata Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Boston Ivy
  • Zone: 4
  • Habit: Hold-fasts
  • Culture:

    Very adaptable. Full sun to shade. Climbs by means of holdfasts.

  • Notes:

    A wonderful vine with elegant, dark green glossy foliage that turns a radiant red in fall. Blue berries are visible in fall following leaf drop and provide food for birds. Unlike Virginia creeper, Boston ivy's holdfasts are tenacious allowing it to turn the mundane side of a masonry building into a stately wall of foliage. If allowed will grow to impressive size.

  • How vines climb:

    The means by which vines climb can be divided into two broad categories: those that twine around a supporting structure, and those that hold onto structures by use of holdfasts.

    Twining: Twining vines wrap around a support using tendrils, petioles or the stem of the vine. These vines require a support structure that facilitates twining such as a fence, arbor or trellis. When these vines become overgrown they can be renewed by cutting the entire plant back severely in early spring.

    Holdfasts: This group of vines attach using holdfasts or aerial roots, structures that fasten the vine stem by sticking directly to a structure. These vines can affix to almost any surface, but are best used on masonry. They are not recommended on wood structures as they create a moist environment that can lead to rot, and the holdfasts are difficult to remove and may damage the wood

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest
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Contact
Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University
E-mail: bhoch@montana.edu

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