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Published In: Monographiae Phanerogamarum 5(2): 447–453. 1887. (Monogr. Phan.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
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3. Parthenocissus Planch. (woodbine)

Plants lianas, sometimes only scrambling on the ground, with all perfect or occasionally a few functionally staminate flowers. Young stems often with a shallow longitudinal groove, grayish brown to reddish brown, glabrous or minutely hairy. Older stems gray to dark brown, sometimes appearing somewhat warty with small lenticels, eventually developing dark brown, deeply fissured, nonshredding (but sometimes breaking into irregular plates) bark, the pith white, not or only rarely chambered. Tendrils at scattered nodes, absent from the inflorescence, few- to many-branched, the tips slender or with small circular adhesive discs. Leaf blades once palmately (rarely ternately) compound, with (3)5(7) leaflets (usually simple in P. tricuspidata). Inflorescences opposite the leaves (sometimes appearing terminal on short branches), panicles, flat-topped to dome-shaped or somewhat pyramid-shaped, wider than long to longer than wide. Petals 5, free, 2–3 mm long, persistent and spreading at flowering, yellowish green. Stamens 5. Nectar disc reduced, indistinct, entirely fused to the ovary. Style short, not persistent at fruiting. Fruits globose, not warty, dark purple or dark blue to nearly black, sometimes slightly glaucous. Seeds 1–4 per fruit, obovoid to broadly obovoid, somewhat longitudinally angled along the inner side, light brown to dark brown. About 15 species, most diverse in Asia, but also in North America.

The berries of Parthenocissus species have thin flesh and are not palatable to humans (reputedly, at least those of P. quinquefolia are poisonous), but are a food source for birds and small mammals. Turkey and deer sometimes eat the young shoots and leaves,. The flowers are visited by a variety of bees, flies, wasps, and beetles (Brizicky, 1965). The bark, which is sometimes eaten by animals in the winter, has been used medicinally in an infusion as a tonic and expectorant. The stems are sometimes used in basketry and other handcrafts.

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