WSU Clark County Extension

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Boston Ivy

Scientific name: Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 8
Plant Characteristics
Height:50 ft
Width:10 ft
Bloom:Summer flowers
Bloom Time:June to July
Bloom Color:Green
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Boston ivy is a deciduous vine with tendrils. Boston ivy also has other common names Cottage ivy, Japanese ivy, Japanese creeper and Boston creeper. It is commonly used as a climbing ornamental on stone and brick facades. This creeper is one of the most commonly used vines in the United States. College campuses all across the nation have building walls that are covered with its leaves, hence the term Ivy League.

Boston ivy has dark green deciduous leaves, which are simple and 3-lobed, or compund with with three leaflets. During the fall the leaves turn a very pleasing bright scarlet. Small green inconspicuous flowers are produced in early summer which morph into blue-black berries, but are not considered to be highly ornamental. Birds find the berries very attractive however, thus encouraging the natural spread.

This ivy is easy to grow and will tolerate site and soil conditions where other vines would do poorly. While it tolerates dry soils it would do best with rich soils. While it needs little attention, it may need to be trimmed to keep it in bounds. It should be sited in areas where it will have room to expand and grow. The plant tolerates dry and poor soils. It can be used on masonry walls.

None. Has potential to damage masonry walls and buildings due to its adhesive disks that cling to structures.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234