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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Parthenocissus tricuspidata is My Favorite Plant...This Week

Although I don't have this plant in my garden, I see it from my window every day as it covers a large concrete wall across the street from my garden.  It' has nice spring color and is a lovely green presence all summer but it really shines in the autumn with it's bright foliage.


The leaves drop before the petioles which stay for a while making the wall look like a torture rack of some sort.  It's an interesting sight to see these pieces of spaghetti sticking straight out of the wall.

Also known as Boston Ivy, this grape relative produces beautiful blue berries, enjoyed by birds that contrast nicely with the orange and hot pink petioles.

The berries are ornamental all by themselves and when even they are gone, the tracery of the naked vines adds winter interest to this otherwise plain concrete wall. 

Of course, the background of moss helps!

I'm joining with Loree at Danger Garden in her Favorite Plant...This Week meme.



Here's what Plant Lust says about it.  Click there to learn more.

PLANT TYPE

Groundcover, Vine / Climber

ZONES

4a-8b

SIZE

H:30'-45'
W:5'-10'

GROWING CONDITIONS

SOIL NEEDS:
Average, Rich
WATER NEEDS:
Regular
SUN EXPOSURE:
Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade





FEATURES

FOLIAGE:
Deciduous
WILDLIFE:
Birds

18 comments:

  1. I wasn't familiar with this plant, but what gorgeous fall color! And the berries add another splash of color.
    Just saw your last post--I can't believe all those pumpkins are $.99! Pumpkins are pretty pricey here this year, because all the rain we had apparently wasn't so good for the pumpkin harvest. Wish you could send me a few of these bargains:)

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    1. How many pumpkins could we fit in one of those nice flat rate boxes from the post office? Sorry that the crop there didn't do as well this year!

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  2. Parthenocissus group are at their element in the autumn with their gorgeous fall colour display!

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  3. Watch your step underneath it though, when the leaves drop! I hear it can be very slippery. It's beautiful in the autumn, but like you, I prefer to admire it in other gardens.

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    1. It's a matter of space. Had we acreage, we might have our own walls to enjoy. In our urban gardens, sometimes a borrowed view is enough. Thanks for the slippery tip.

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  4. This must be the same vine municipalities and counties use to beautify concrete walls around highways and such. They really pop around this time of year, although I never noticed the berries before. Not detrimental to trees like the English Ivey, right?

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    1. This and it's relatives (Virginia Creeper for one) are used a lot for that purpose. They don't seed around much in my experience and also don't choke trees the way Hedera helix does!

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  5. You've brought back memories of the day (when stopped at a traffic light) I first noticed this in it's "torture rack" or spaghetti stick phase, pretty crazy.

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  6. A torture rack - lol -what imagery! I love red leaves. I want to pick up all the ones on the ground below my Amur maple and iron them between waxed paper like we did when we were kids.

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    1. I also love the bright colors of fallen leaves and recently learned that you can laminate leaves (with heat and plastic, like paper is laminated at school) and the colors will stay for years. I have some from two years ago that I haul out each fall to decorate my classroom and they are still lovely. Another fun thing is to arrange them on your scanner and make color copies or post the images on your blog.

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  7. I love anything that winds up a gig with a torch song.

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  8. I've been enjoying the wild Parthenocissus quinquefolia that makes random streaks of red running up trees or along the ground here. There was a wall with Boston ivy on it at my university. I liked the berries and the tracery of bare stems attached to the wall with little suction cups.

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    1. There used to Boston Ivy on a few of the buildings at my university too but they got rid of it at some point. It was fun while it lasted. This looks really wonderful climbing up large blue spruce trees!

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  9. What a super plant for you to look at, without having to sweep up the leaves! The berries are a bonus, I've never noticed them before when admiring them in other peoples gardens.

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    1. It was very nice of the church to plant this just for my viewing pleasure!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.