Common name: Virginia creeper
Origin: United States
Height at maturity: spreads over 10 to 15 meters
Exposure: sunny, partial shade or shade
Plant type: climbing shrub
Flowering: spring – summer
Flower color: yellow, green
Type of soil: ordinary, draining
Use: wall covering
Diseases and pests: aphids
Toxicity: inedible fruits
Storage of seeds: 3 years in a dry place away from light at 3/4°C (refrigerator)
The Virginia creeper is a climbing shrub (liane) with robust stems, very vigorous, which can reach 20 m in height. Young shoots are reddish.
Its leaves are composed of five (sometimes three or seven) elliptical leaflets 5 to 14 cm long with long-toothed edges. Green-gray in color, they turn scarlet in autumn. Opposite the leaf insertion point on the stem is either a tendril or an inflorescence. Each tendril has 7 to 8 branches which, when young, bend to form a small hook. In contact with a surface it can then give an adhesive ball releasing adhesive substances.
The flowers are grouped in racemes of biparous cymes. They are made up of an entire calyx, 5 free petals, 5 stamens opposite the petals and a conical ovary. Flowering occurs in June-July.
The fruits are berries 6-12 mm in diameter, blue-black in color, slightly blooming. They contain oxalic acid which is a toxic compound for mammals but does not prevent birds such as starlings from consuming them in winter.
To be grown as an ornamental climbing plant for its decorative foliage which takes on a beautiful scarlet red hue in autumn, it can be used to cover and dress walls and facades.