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Invasive Vines

Image of vine leaves
Invasive vine plant

Question:

Hello, can you help me identify the plants in these photos?

June 2016

Answer:

Based on these photos, it seems you have two kinds of vines growing in combination here.  One is Virginia Creeper (the finer vine with 5 leaves) and the other is Oriental or Asiatic Bittersweet (the three lobed leaves, and the orange roots.) Both can be invasive, but of the two, Bittersweet is by far the more pernicious. Both Bittersweet and Virginia Creeper require persistent efforts to control, if not eradicate.  Both are also spread by birds which have eaten their seeds;  Bittersweet is also commonly spread by people who use their attractive orange/yellow berries for decorative purposes. Here is some more information on Virginia Creeper. Note that Virginia Creeper berries are toxic, and for some people, sap from the red fall foliage can cause skin reactions. One of the best guides for control of Oriental or Asiatic Bittersweet is an excellent pamphlet on invasives and their control, produced by the New England Wildflower Society in conjunction with Smith College.  That pamphlet will give you tips for manual controls and, if you choose to use them, herbicidal applications that are effective against bittersweet, together with an appropriate schedule for each.

 

Vines climbing wire fence
Image of invasive vine