Parthenocissus inserta (Kerner) Fritsch

thicket-creeper

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Thicket-creeper is closely related to its common cousin, Virginia creeper (P. quinquefolia), and has only been recognized recently as a separate species. To tell it from the other species, look at the tendrils where they attach to a tree or other climbing structure: the suckers will be narrow (only slightly enlarged), compared to the disk-shaped suckers of Virginia creeper. Also, the inflorescence will bear fewer flowers (10-60), and the berries will be larger (8-10mm long).

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forests, shores of rivers or lakes, talus and rocky slopes

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Growth form
the plant is a liana (i.e., a woody plant with a vine-like growth form)
Leaf type
the leaf blade is compound (i.e., made up of two or more discrete leaflets
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Bark texture
the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • gray
Bud scale number
  • there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
  • there are two scales on the winter bud, and their edges meet
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    • there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
    • there are two scales on the winter bud, and their edges meet
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower petal color
    yellow or green
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence type
    • the inflorescence is a dichasial cyme (an axis with a terminal flower, below it a pair of branches, each with a terminal flower, these branches may in turn each have a pair of branches and so on)
    • the inflorescence is a panicle (branched with the individual flowers on stalks)
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Stamen number
    5
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    • black
    • blue
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Sap color
    the sap is clear and watery
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a liana (i.e., a woody plant with a vine-like growth form)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade scales
    there are no scales on the leaf blades
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    Leaf blade texture
    • the leaf blade is coriaceous (has a firm, leathery texture)
    • the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade translucent dots
    there are no translucent dots on the leaf blade
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf midrib glands
    the midrib of the leaf blade lacks glands on the upper surface
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk nectaries
    there are no nectaries on the leaf stalk
    Leaf teeth
    the leaf blade margin is serrate (with forward-pointing) or dentate (with outward-pointing) with medium-sized to coarse teeth
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is compound (i.e., made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf is palmately compound with more than three leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • talus or rocky slopes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor, or it has an unpleasant or repellant odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Lenticels on twigs
    there are clearly lenticels on the twigs
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • gray
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Synonyms

  • Ampelopsis quinquefolia (L.) Michx. var. vitacea Knerr
  • Parthenocissus vitacea (Knerr) A.S. Hitchc.
  • Psedera vitacea (Knerr) Greene

Family

Vitaceae

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Parthenocissus inserta (Kerner) Fritsch N

thicket-creeper. Ampelopsis quinquefolia (L.) Michx. var. vitacea Knerr; Parthenocissus vitacea (Knerr) A.S. Hitchc.; Psedera vitacea (Knerr) Greene • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Forests, roadsides, river shores, talus slopes. The specific epithet “ vitacea” has been applied to this species by several authors; however, the epithet “ inserta” applies to this taxon and has priority (James Pringle, personal communication).