Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Japanese creeper, grape ivy, Japanese ivy, woodbine)

description:  deciduous woody vine

place of origin:  temperate Asia

urban habitat: cultivated and sometimes escapes; found along walls, fences, rocks, hillsides, bridges, railroad tracks; thrives in a variety of soil types in full sun or partial shade.

ecological function: heat reduction, food and habitat for wildlife.

history: Native to temperate Asia, Parthenocissus tricuspidata has been cultivated elsewhere as an ornamental to cover the facades of masonry buildings, providing shade and reducing surface heat, as well as being used as a ground cover. Its use on buildings in Boston led to one of its common names. Its sap is edible and can be used as sweetener.