Parthenocissus tricuspidata / Boston Ivy
Looks similar to Virginia creeper, but can be distinguished by its simple leaves, compared to Virginia creeper’s complex 5-leaflet leaves. Boston ivy is less tolerant of heat and drought than Virginia creeper.
A fast-grower, it’ll cover a wall quickly — in one to three seasons. Surfaces it climbs easily include concrete, brick, stone, wood and trees. If grown up into trees, it can create enough shade to interfere with photosynthesis. Grown on the south and west-facing walls of buildings, it CAN reduce air conditioning costs in the summer without shielding homes from the sun in the winter but if it’s grown up walls, it can do damage.
- Deciduous (leaf-dropping)
- Can grow to 50 feet.
- Sun OR shade, though flowers and berries are more abundant with greater light.
- Tolerates a wide range of soils.
- No serious disease or insect problems.
- Though described as hardy to Zone 4, it’s not reliably hardy in that zone and will suffer winter burn occasionally. The variety ‘Robusta’ is the hardiest.