“There’s poison ivy growing in the yard.” It’s a sentence I hear ten times a year. I always go check – but nine times out of ten, what I find isn’t poison ivy. It’s Virginia creeper.
Virginia creeper, or woodbine, is native to the eastern United States and is prolific in North Carolina. You can find it all across the state.
It’s pretty easy to identify. Woodbine is a vine with five leaflet compound leaves. It produces bright blue berries in the late summer. And in the fall, the green leaves change into various shades of red.
Since it’s a native, it’s not considered invasive. But, like most creepers, it is a pretty aggressive grower. It can reach 50 ft when mature.
I find it growing in my shade beds every year. It wasn’t ever a big deal until we got Axl. But he likes to pull up plants and carry them around the yard.
Virginia creeper is poisonous and doesn’t make the best chew toy. Needless to say, I’m constantly on the lookout to ensure no new patches have popped up.
The sap irritates the skin and causes rashes in some people. Thankfully, I’m not allergic to it. I can just yank it out – no gloves required.
It does make me a little sad to pull it up, though. Despite its drawbacks, Virginia creeper is beautiful.