SOLVED: What vines do I have?

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

I'm hoping I don't have Poison Ivy vines growing in my neighbors hedge and on my fence.

#1 Plant

Thumbnail by sempervirens
Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

Here is the second vine which has 2 different leaves. Maybe 2 plants intertwined?
The three leaves look like Poison Ivy to me. The second type of leaf looks like a maple shape. They are growing up a privet and Rose of Sharon hedge.
Plant #2
There is a group of Rose of Sharon leaves on the left.

Thumbnail by sempervirens
Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

The third photo is of the maple leaves alone that appear to be a vine.

Thumbnail by sempervirens
Huntington, AR

I believe #1 is a Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern Poison Ivy)
The maple-leafed one looks like a Vitis (grape) to me. Of course I could be wrong about both! Good Luck!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Whoa, now, peaches; take a close look. Might be a chameleon in there...

You probably have Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston ivy) there. It is the Japanese relative of the native Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

I'm with VV on this one.

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

So what your saying VV and growin is that all 3 leaves are Boston Ivy in various stages?

(Zone 1)

The vine in photo # 2 reminds me of Virginia Creeper:

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

#1 is Poison Ivy. "Leaves three, let it be"


Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Virginia Creeper has five leaves.

Buffalo, NY(Zone 6a)

The plant with the three leaflets seems structurally like poison ivy to me, although the leaf margin is usually asymmetrically toothed in poison ivy (at least, when I've seen it). The plant with maple-like leaves looks like Parthenocissus tricuspidata.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I guess no one is that familiar with the behavior of the pesky Boston Ivy. It often presents itself with "leaflets three", though most know it from the one large simple leaf that kind of looks like a maple leaf.


If you are intent on deciphering your botanical riddle, put on some gloves and trace each style of leaf (compound leaflets of three and single simple) back to its attendant stem.

Then, check how that stem is attached to what it is climbing on. Parthenocissus species have a whole different way of clinging and climbing than poison ivy.

Check back in if you get to investigate this aspect of your vine(s),

Huntington, AR

Confound it! I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that pesky ViburnumValley! Nah, I'm just kidding, vines are not my forte', per se, but Idon't mind being wrong, if I did I'd never post anything! Seriously, though, 80% of all vines look like grapes or poison ivy to me... I have 'vine-blindness', it's like color-blindness only, you know, with vines. My doctor says it's inoperable.

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

The first photo may be either Virginia creeper,Boston Ivy or Poison ivy...

The first photo center cluster at the junction of the lobes appears to have a tendril-like structure(?) just to the right...and the lower right cluster appears to have fresh rootlets growing out of the stem towards the support...

The second and third photos look to be Boston Ivy...

The very young leaves on all of the following young plants can look extremely similar,although the basal serration of the Poison Ivy leaf tends to be more prominent than on the Parthenocissus species

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Virginia Creeper with an older grey stem showing emerging adhering root that are just like those of Poison Ivy
with some young tendrils visible along the young stem
Virginia creeper tip of climbing stem showing tendrils along with a piece of older stem with discs on the ends of the tendrils..the very young leaves on Virginia creeper start out as 3 lobed and progress to 5 lobes...Very easy to mistake for the many serrated leaf forms of poison ivy...

Borton Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) showing adhering discs that develop on the ends of the tendrils just like Virginia creeper
Borton Ivy

Poison Ivy, Eastern Poison Ivy
Toxicodendron radicans
very young leaves
young leaves
leaves may be serrated or with a smooth edge
showing fibrous like 'tendrils' adhering to branch

None of these plants will show tendrils if they are creeping along the ground as the tendrils are only used for climbing...

I agree with ViburnumValley to check on what type of adhering 'tendrils' the young climbing stems are displaying...the poison ivy will put out root-like structures like English Ivy as shown in the photos above...

Boston Ivy and Virginia creeper may eventually put out the type of 'roots' that dig directly into /onto a support but Poison Ivy never(!) puts out the type of tendrils that I linked to for Virginia creeper

Hope that helps,...


This message was edited Jun 6, 2008 3:40 PM

Crossville, TN(Zone 7a)

Watch out because the oils in poison oak/ivy can seep through latex gloves.

zone 7, TX

First one looks like poison ivy to me thats growing on some of our property. Red stem, leaves of three.... the second and third pics remind me of Virginia Creeper, but I'm not an expert either. The first one though, I'd be carefull with.

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thanks everyone for the added information. The info about and photos of the tendrils added by Ron-C were also a big help
The vine in photo #1 adheres to the fence with the little suction cups so that puts it firmly in the Boston Ivy ID.
Yay! I don't have Poison Ivy. At least not in the hedge row. I already removed 3 poison ivy vines from the flower garden. ID is easier when you can see the small new little red leaves.

Thumbnail by sempervirens
Harrisonville, MO

I firmly agree with Viburnum...definitely young Boston Ivy. I have to deal with this plant on a daily basis in customers' yards.

Leaves of three is not the rule for Poison Ivy...just a guideline.

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