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Products > Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Parthenocissus tricuspidata - Boston Ivy

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Vitaceae (Grapes)
Origin: China (Asia)
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy) - This large plant, most popularly known for covering the brick buildings on Ivy League college campuses, is a deciduous vine that quickly makes a thick mat on any type of support. The leaves are variable in shape but usually they have three serrated lobes and in fall the leaves turn scarlet red. The greenish white flowers in late spring to early summer and hidden in the foliage and black berries that follow are also hidden until the plant goes deciduous.

Plant in sun or shade, water regularly. Hardy to USDA Zone 4. This plant should not be grown on wood or shingle walls because the holdfasts are difficult to remove,.

The name Parthenocissus comes from Greek word 'parthenos' meaning "virgin" and 'kissos' (Latinized as 'cissus"), an ancient name for an ivy-like vine. The reasons given for this name vary with some believing it comes from the fact that some species in the genus form seeds without pollination (Apomixis) or that the scientific name actually was in reference to the English common name "Virginia creeper" for this plant since Virginia was named for Queen Elizabeth I, also known as the the "Virgin Queen". The specific epithet is from the Latin words 'tri' meaning "three" and 'cuspidatus' meaning "with a sharp point" referring to the three sharply-pointed leaf lobes. We grew this vine from 1994 until 2013 and it still covers part of an old wooden barn on the nursery property. 

This information about Parthenocissus tricuspidata displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.