Vine Identification *


My brother who lives in Calgary has a wonderful vine that covers the back of his house. I brought back several cuttings to Switzerland and would love to identify this vine and in particular advice on pruning. It is now fall here and the leaves are a wonderful red. There have never been fruit or flowers.



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

I believe that it is a Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia. It is a beautiful and vigorous vine which is native in North America and also considered an invasive species in many places. The flowers are small and not notable but as it matures it will develop berries. It grows quickly and can get very large. It will spread and root if branches are lying on the ground.

I do feel I need to mention that the practice of taking plants from one location to another- especially to a different continent across international borders- is not recommended and probably illegal in your county.

By transporting this plant you have exposed your biome to a invasive non-native that could easily negatively affect the native plants in your area and cause a threat to the landscape. You also may have also unknowingly transported smaller organisms ( insects, bacteria etc.) that could threaten local flora and fauna and permanently change the landscape by killing of your native species. Here in Toronto we are fighting many invasive species that were introduced from other parts of the world either on purpose or accidently. We are losing entire species of trees to invading borers.

The best solution would be to remove the plant now and find a plant at your local nursery which will have a similar look but not potentially damage your landscape. This plant grows to extremely large sizes so when mature will be very hard to destroy entirely, it will be much easier to remove the plant while it is young. You will need to destroy all parts of the plant. Do NOT put it in with yard waste. These plants will regrow from branches anywhere they land.

If you choose to keep this plant you need to take the responsibility to ensure it does not spread. If you do any pruning you will need to destroy the cuttings and not put them in compost containers. If you move locations you should destroy the plant and all its pieces as the new owners will not be aware of the risks it posses.

I am including some references for you if you wish to look further into this issue.