Other names: Parthenocissus inserta, False Virginia Creeper, Thicket Creeper
The fruiting stem of P. vitacea continuously branches in two, and this species routinely sets fruit. P. quinequefolia (Virginia Creeper) does not set much fruit, and its fruiting stem will have a central axis with shorter stems with fruit branching off.
When not in fruit, these two species can be distinguished by 1) P. quinquefolia is pubescent on the underside of the leaf, while P. vitacea is glabrous, and 2) the tendrils of P. quinquefolia end in discs, enabling the vine to cling to flat surfaces, while P. vitacea can only climb by winding its tendrils on objects.
Seeds of the two species are probably not distinguishable.
Fruit ripening dates: July through October
Seed dispersal dates: August through February (although eagerly consumed and few tend to remain)
Seeds present in bird fecal samples at the Rouge River Bird Observatory, Dearborn, MI.
- Species profile at USDA Plants Database
- Michigan Flora online species profile
- Virginia Creeper/Woodbine comparison -- Get Your Botany On
- A creeper by any other name - Audubon Guides (Julie Craves)
- Nomenclature of the Thicket Creeper, Parthenocissus inserta (PDF) -- Michigan Botanist
- University of Wisconsin-Steven Point Robert. W. Freckmann herbarium species profile
(Numbers in photo captions are photo credits, listed in the "Photo Credits" tab at the top of the page)