Despite its name, Boston-ivy is not native to Boston but to eastern Asia. This deciduous vine is often used to cover brick walls and other hard surfaces of old universities buildings or famous ball fields. Dark green leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Clay soil
Season of Interest:
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of Climbing
A fast growing, deciduous, woody vine that typically grows 30 to 50 feet high. It is a vigorous clinging vine that clings to surfaces with holdfasts.
Clinging vines attach themselves directly to a surface by means of holdfasts (adhesive discs) or by small aerial roots. This type of vine grows best on a flat surface, such as stone, masonry walls and wood.
Best grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of full shade, but best fall color occurs in sunny locations.
This species has shown some aggressive tendency in naturalize areas or when minimally managed in cultivation.
Disease, pests, and problems
Attaches to a building or wall, but difficult to remove and may damage painted surfaces and leave residues.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Deer, drought, and black walnut tolerant
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to eastern Asia, Japan, Korea, and eastern China.
Leaves are alternately arranged. They are 4 to 8 inch wide, simple 3-lobed leaves with serrated margins.
Glossy green in summer turns a reddish purple in fall
Greenish-white flower panicles in June; not ornamentally important.
Bluish-black fruit ripens in September, often persisting into winter.