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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Virginia Creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Other Names:  Victoria Creeper, Five-leaved Ivy, Five Finger, Parthenocissus inserta [in part]

Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 1

Agency Status


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General Description
Leaflets 5 to 7, lanceolate to obovate, 3–13 cm long, puberulent below. Tendrils 3- to 8-branched with adhesive disks. Inflorescence a hemispheric panicle of cymes with a distinct central axis. Flowers: petals 2–3 mm long. Berry 5–8 mm wide (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
In Montana species of the Grape Family (Vitaceae) can be separated by the degree of lobing in the leaf. Grapes (Vitis) have single leaves with shallow lobes while Woodbines and Virginia Creepers (Parthenocissus) have a single leaf palmately divided into distinct leaflets.

Montana has 2 Parthenocissus species:

Virginia Creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia, exotic
*Tendrils: With an adhesive disc. Look closely where it attaches to a substrate. Discs are easily broken off unless carefully remove.
*Inflorescence: Panicle has a central axis.

Woodbine - Parthenocissus vitacea, native and desireable
*Tendrils: Without an adhesive disc. Look closely where it attaches to a substrate.
*Inflorescence: Panicle is dichotomously branched.

Range Comments
Introduced in western U.S. where it occasionally escapes cultivation; native to eastern North America. Known from Missoula County (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 18

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Boggs, K. W. 1984. Succession in riparian communities of the lower Yellowstone River, Montana. M.S. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, 107 pp.
    • Eggers, M.J.S. 2005. Riparian vegetation of the Montana Yellowstone and cattle grazing impacts thereon. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 125 p.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2016. Flora of North America north of Mexico, Vol. 12. Magnoliophyta: Vitaceae to Garryaceae. Oxford University Press, Inc. New York.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Virginia Creeper"
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Citation for data on this website:
Virginia Creeper — Parthenocissus quinquefolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from