Common Name
Virginia creeper, woodbine
Botanic Name
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Plant Family
There are 10 Parthenocissus species that are native to North America and Asia.
Animals Affected
Household pets, children
Virginia creeper
Toxic Principle
Oxalate crystals (raphides), and possibly other compounds may be responsible for the signs of gastroenteritis reported in children eating the leaves or berries. Similar toxicity has been reported in budgerigars fed the leaves.
Parthenocissus are perennial, deciduous, woody vines, with tendrils with terminal pads that enable the creeper to climb on walls, trees and fences. The leaves are palmate, compound with 5 leaflets that are serrate. The leaves turn bright red in the Fall. Small greenish flowers are produced in paniculate cymes. Fruits are blue to black berries with 1-4 seeds. Boston ivy (P. tricuspidata)is a similar species.
Excessive salivation, and vomiting can be expected
Special Notes
Virginia creeper is of minimal risk to animals, but it is commonly grown in people's gardens and the ripe fruits are attractive to pets and children. References 1.Lampe KF, McCann MA. AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants. Am Med Assoc, Chicago, Illinois 1985,197. 2. Shropshire CM, Stauber E, Arai M: Evaluation of selected plants for acute toxicosis in budgerigars. J Am Vet Med Assoc1992, 200:936-939.
Virginia creeper ripe fruits
Fall leaf color of Virginia creeper