Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 1 plant ID/comparison guide:

collage of Virginia Creeper and Five-Fingered Aralia

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) vs. Five-Fingered Aralia (Eleutherococcus sieboldianus)

Updated February 24th, 2023

These two species, not closely related, are frequently confused due to superficial similarities: not only are their 5-leaflet compound leaves similar, but they also have inconspicuous green flowers and dark purple fruit. They are easily distinguished by growth habit, presence or absence of thorns or climbing tendrils, and the shape and color of the inflorescence and fruit cluster. Parthenocissus quinquefolia is native and widespread in North America, whereas Eleutherococcus sieboldianus is an introduced, potentially invasive species which is only rarely planted in landscaping, but frequently escapes into the wild near where it is planted.

View Full Guide