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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Virginia Creeper

How about some lovely appealing berries?

Virginia creeper berries

These belong to the humble Virginia Creeper vine. Not every vine seems to produce berries every year, but when they do, the display is often spectacular.

Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, is often mistaken for poison ivy. But it almost always has five leaflets, and poison ivy has only three.

Virginia creeper leaves

However, you don't want to eat these pretty berries. No, no, no. The plant is full of oxalic acid. That can cause serious kidney problems, and in some cases, even death.

It's sometimes planted as an ornamental because the leaves turn bright red in the fall.

See A Creeklet Excursion Revisited for poison ivy
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vanilla said...

Had the fun? of removing this from the side of a brick house. Those tendrils really bite into the mortar!

Glynis Peters said...

Why do the best looking berries always come with the fatal warning? Loved your previous post too!

rainfield61 said...

We cannot afford to be ignorant, for certain cases.

J. M. P. said...

I saw some of these while hyking this summer. They're beautiful. And I like the fact that they're blue, it's somehow a warning: you don't eat blue things.

Lin said...

I'm not sure I'd eat anything in the wild that I didn't know about. Well..unless I was stranded and starving to death. But at that point, would it matter?

Gees, you know a lot of stuff, Sharkey!

Sharkbytes said...

vanilla- that's interesting. Some web sites said it comes off easier than other ivy

glynis- they really are pretty

rainfield- there aren't too many that really can kill you, but these could make a good effort

Josep- color isn't really much of a warning. Blueberries, elderberries and grapes are fine.

Lin- Good plan! Always know how to ID things before eating.

RNSANE said...

Do the birds stay away from it, too? The berries do look tempting to eat.