Virginia creeper, five-leaved ivy, or five-finger (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine native to eastern and central North America, in southeastern Canada, the eastern and central United States. Parthenocissus quinquefolia is also known as woodbine although woodbine can refer to other plant species.
It is a prolific climber, reaching heights of 20 to 30 m in the wild. It climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with small strongly adhesive pads 5 mm in size. The leaves are palmately compound, composed of five leaflets (rarely three leaflets, particularly on younger vines) joined from a central point on the leafstalk, and range from 3 to 20 cm (rarely 30 cm) across. The leaflets have a toothed margin. The species is often confused with Parthenocissus vitacea, which has the same leaves, but does not have the adhesive pads at the end of its tendrils.
The flowers are small and greenish, produced in clusters in late spring, and mature in late summer or early fall into small hard purplish-black berries 5 to 7 mm diameter. These berries contain oxalic acid, which is only moderately toxic to humans and other mammals. The berries provide an important winter food source for birds.
Virginia creeper is grown as an ornamental plant, because of its deep red to burgundy fall foliage. It is frequently seen covering telephone poles or trees. The creeper may kill vegetation if it covers by shading its support and thus limiting the supporting plants' ability to photosynthesize.
Virginia creeper can be used as a shading vine for buildings on masonry walls. Because the vine, like its relative Boston ivy, adheres to the surface by disks rather than penetrating roots, it will not harm the masonry but will keep a building cooler by shading the wall surface during the summer, saving money on air conditioning.
Native Americans used the plant as an herbal remedy for diarrhea, difficult urination, swelling, and lockjaw.