Boston Ivy

Parthenocissus Tricuspidata
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Angiosperm, Dicot, deciduous


  • The plant normally grows to about 4-6' tall. Can grow more if given suitable support.
  • Leaves are green year round except in the fall when they turn a deep red.
  • Typically 10" in width.

Identifying Features:

  • It attaches itself by small branched tendrils that have sticky discs at the end.
  • The three lobed leaves, hence the name tricuspidata.


  • Plant is native to China and Japan.
  • Plant can be found anywhere in the United States where the conditions are allowing.


  • Boston Ivy is deciduous, which when applied to plants means its leaves fall on an annual basis in autumn.
  • Bluish fruit, born on red pedicles, fruit ripen in September.
  • Greenish white flowers.

Water/Sun Requirements:

  • Soil: Minimum pH:6.1, Maximum 7.5
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to partial shade.
  • Cold Hardiness 4a to 8b (map).
  • Water regularly, when top 3 in. of soil is dry.

Special Adaptations:

  • Tendrils that allow it to stick and climb walls.

Other Info:

  • Can be dangerous to native shrubbery because it creates a dense shade-tolerant groundcover that outcompetes native vegetation.
  • Known to baseball fans as covering the outfield wall of the Cub's Wrigley Field.
  • Used widely for covering the walls of masonry.
  • Best way to remove it from walls is to sever the vine from the root.
  • A great look at the taxonomy of this plant.

Reference Sources/Links:

USDA Plant Site
McAllister, H. (1982). New work on ivies. Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbook// 1981: 106-109
Wikipedia-Boston Ivy
Wikipedia-General Ivy
Zipcodezoo-general 'p' page

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Created by Leon S. 2007