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Revision as of 16:03, 25 June 2012


Toxic parts

Skin contact with the leaves in autumn can cause dermatitis in some people[1]. The tissues of the plant contain microscopic, irritating needle-like crystals called raphides[2].

Edible uses


Fruit - raw[3][4]. The fruit is not very well flavoured, nor is it produced very freely[K]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[5] and is carried in small bunches like grapes[K]. Stalks - cooked. They should be peeled and then boiled[3][4]. The stalks are cut, boiled and peeled, and the sweetish substance between the bark and the wood is used for food[6]. Root - cooked[6].


Material uses

A pink dye is obtained from the fruit[7][8][6]. The plant can be allowed to fall down banks and make a spreading ground cover[9]. They are best spaced about 3 metres apart each way[10]. They are very vigorous, however, and would soon swamp smaller plants[K].

Unknown part


Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The bark and fresh young shoots are aperient, alterative, emetic, expectorant and tonic[7][8]. A hot decoction can be used as a poultice to help reduce swellings[6]. A tea made from the leaves is aperient, astringent and diuretic[1]. It is used as a wash on swellings and poison ivy rash[1][6]. A tea made from the plant is used in the treatment of jaundice[1][6]. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea and diarrhoea[1][6]. The fruit is useful in treating fevers[11].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber or Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[5]. Stored seed requires stratifying for 6 weeks at 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[5]. Germination is variable. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm taken at a node (ensure that it has at least 2 true buds), July/August in a frame[12]. Easy to root but they do not always survive the first winter[13]. Basal hardwood cuttings of current seasons growth, 10 - 12 cm long, autumn in a frame[5]. Layering[5]. Plants often self-layer[9].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Parthenocissus quinquefolia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a well-drained moisture retentive fertile soil[5]. Succeeds in most soils, preferring full sun but tolerating semi-shade[9]. Best if grown in semi-shade on an east or west facing wall[5]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[11]. Dormant plants are hardy to about -25°c[5], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant[14], it is self-supporting on walls by means of adhesive tendrils[15][13]. Very fast growing, though it often does not grow very much in its first year or two after planting out[9]. When established, it can send out new growth 6 metres long in a year[11]. The plant can, however, become a nuisance by climbing into gutters[13]. Plants are very tolerant of trimming and can be cut right back to the base if required to rejuvenate the plant[9]. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring[16]. The fruit is normally only produced after a long hot summer[16]. There are several named varieties[13].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Parthenocissus quinquefolia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Parthenocissus quinquefolia.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
    3. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    4. ? Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    5. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    6. ? Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    7. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    8. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    11. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    12. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    13. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    14. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (1983-00-00)
    17. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)