poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Creeper

escapes: Virginia creeper

with 2 comments

Virginia creeper, also call woodbine, thicket creeper and, in French vinge vierge, is a climbing vine with adhesive discs. Its leaves are palmately five-fingered and turn bright red in autumn. The plant has small purple fruit, poisonous to eat. The vine is common around abandoned homesteads where it persists or escapes to local woodlands.


Virginia Creeper Whites Mountain 2 (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).jpg


Virginia creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.


In woods

on Whites Mountain


climbs the ash.

Persistent escape


from homesteads


Thicket creeper

navigates itself

to better ground,


higher trees.

Thick rhizomes,

adhesive discs.

Five-fingered leaves

spread to cover


every inch of bark.


exposure to sun.

Ancestral creepers

once draped


zig-zag cedar fences

in autumn scarlet.

Caught the attention

of farmers’ wives

on community rounds.


October 7, 2013 'Virginia Creeper' Jane Tims

~Virginia Creeper Whites Mountain

All my best,


Written by jane tims

August 8, 2018 at 7:00 am

changing communities

with 7 comments

Last week we went for a drive to the Cornhill Nursery in Kings County to buy a new cherry tree for our yard. Afterwards we took a drive to visit some of the old communities in the area. One of these communities, Whites Mountain, was a rural farming community with 17 families in 1866 (New Brunswick Provincial Archives). By 1898 the community had one post office, one church and 100 people. Today the community consists of a few farms and residences, perched on a steep hillside overlooking the hilly landscape of northern Kings County.



On the road descending Whites Mountain, Kings County, overlooking the broad Kennebecasis Valley (September 2016)


One of the most interesting sights on our drive may also be evidence of the farmsteads formerly in the area.  Although Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.) is native to North America, in this area it is usually associated with human habitation. In the thick woods north of the community, we found Virginia Creeper in profusion, covering the surface of the trees.






Although there is only forest here now, perhaps the ancestors of these vines covered barns and other buildings in the area.




Copyright 2016 Jane Tims



the colour of October #1- Virginia Creeper

with 17 comments


Our Virginia Creeper comes from a shoot I collected along the banks of the St. John River over 30 years ago.  It grows on our power pole.  Some years it makes great progress and gets to the top of the pole to grow along the wires.  Other years it struggles to gain any hold at all after damaging winds, or if the power company decides it needs cutting back.  The last few years it has grown into the neighboring bushes.  As a result, my lilacs seem to have mutant leaves and turn scarlet when the other lilacs are a sickly yellow.


This year the Virginia Creeper leaves are shot with holes from the same insect infestation plaguing them last year.


October 7, 2013 'Virginia Creeper'  Jane Tims

October 7, 2013 ‘Virginia Creeper’ Jane Tims


Copyright 2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

October 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

a moment of beautiful – bug-shot shadows

with 13 comments

the space: the surface of the power pole in front of our house

the beautiful: the pattern of shadow through bug-eaten leaves

The power pole in front of our house is habitat for a vine of Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.). also known as Woodbine.  I brought the vine home about thirty years ago, as a slip collected from a plant in the park beside the St. John River.  Over the years, it has struggle against the winds, determined to blow it from its perch, the power company, unhappy with its use of the pole, and the lawn mower as it snips away at the horizontal tendrils.

This year, it has a new challenge to overcome.  An insect has chewed the vine full of holes… probably not a severe problem for the plant.

On Friday, I caught the shadow pattern created by the bug-eaten leaves as the sun shone at the right angle for a moment… a new way to see the consequence of belonging to the food chain!

©  Jane Tims  2012

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