Wild Flower Web
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-- All habitats --
Small, inconspicuous and green.
A bluish-black berry, up to 6mm in diameter.
A deciduous, climbing, woody vine with tendrils. The leaves are distinctive. They are long-stalked, glossy, and compound (5-lobed). The leaflets are ovate, pointed and with coarsely serrated margins. The upper side of the leaves are dark green and lower side, light green. The leaves turn from green to a brilliant scarlet red in autumn.
15 meters spread.
The sap of this plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which may cause skin irritation or rashes in a small proportion of people. In fact 'Virginia Creeper Rash' is quite common. If ingested, these crystals may give rise to a whole number of symptoms such as Cardiac Arrhythmia. Having said this, the berries of Virginia Creeper are edible but can easily be mistaken for Poison Ivy so extreme care must be taken.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
American Ivy, American Woodbine, Ampelopsis, Engelmann's Ivy, False Grape, Five-finger, Five-leaved Ivy, True Virginia Creeper, Victoria Creeper, Wild Wood Vine, Woodbine.
Gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, scrub, walls, waterside.