Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A closer view of Virginia creeper turning colors

with 20 comments

Virginia Creeper Turning Colors on Rock 4301

In a comment this morning, Steve Gingold said he hoped to see some of the other pictures I took of Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) along Morado Circle on November 7th. Always eager to oblige, I’m posting this closer view of a vine that had attached itself to a vertical rock surface. The colors of the leaflets appealed to me, of course, but so did the interplay of the shadows those leaflets cast.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM

20 Responses

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  1. Nice. I dug up mine which I’ll share later on.
    When I read the Latin, I misread it as Parthenogenesis which then reminded me of Canned Heat which I could use some of today as it is getting chilly.
    20 minutes of winter warming music.

    Alan Wilson gave the Jaw Harp (aka Jew’s Harp) 15 minutes of fame and then some.

    Steve Gingold

    November 15, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    • BTW…if you are not into this sort of music just feel free to ignore it.

      Steve Gingold

      November 15, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      • I wasn’t familiar with the music, but I listened to some of it to get a feel for what it’s like.

        Steve Schwartzman

        November 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    • The partheno is the same, and it means ‘virgin’ in Greek.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    • I quite like this. My dad used to get out his Jaw Harp every once in awhile.


      November 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      • I never heard of one until I found this album and then decided to learn to play it which, compared to most other instruments, wasn’t very challenging.

        Steve Gingold

        November 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM

  2. The colors of fall are certainly beginning the end of their cycle…Have a great weekend.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    November 15, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    • You too, Charlie. Yes, things are turning colorful (or as colorful as they get here) now that we’re approaching the end of the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

  3. […] mutual agreement, Steve Schwartzman and I are having a Virginia Creeper-off.  Here is Steve’s post and here is my […]

  4. Yes, I like this too, with the way the shadows play against the rock face. Cool.


    November 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    • This Virginia creeper—or some ancestor(s) of it—has been on this rock for years, and each autumn I look forward to seeing what it will do. Naturally it’s been more colorful in some years than in others, but this time the shadows caught my attention more than before.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 15, 2014 at 5:10 PM

  5. Some of them are no longer quinquefolia? Lovely colour and shadows.


    November 16, 2014 at 3:39 AM

  6. Almost every year, I’ve been able to count on Virginia creeper and native gourds for table decorations at Thanksgiving — at least, in the Hill Country. These are so vibrant and pretty. Martha Stewart should eat her heart out.


    November 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    • That’s commendable. I’ve known people to use gourds as decorations, but never Virginia creeper (of which I coincidentally saw a good amount in the Hill Country on Friday).

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

  7. The V.creeper, china tallow, and our bald cypress are the only showy variety that we enjoy this time of year. Otherwise, it’s just a mess of giant bur oak leaves all over the place here. We have way too many trees…(not that I’m complaining).

    I always get a bit giddy when the V.creeper starts to turn. It’s the visual signal that I need to kick it into high gear for my garden planting — winter is coming!


    November 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    • Over the next couple of weeks I’m planning pictures of some of the other species that put on fall color, including the bald cypress you mentioned. Chinese tallow trees are pretty, and many people have planted them because their leaves turn colors in the fall, but they’re not only not native, but can be highly invasive. In the article entitled “The Tree That Ate Houston” at


      I just read this: “According to the Texas Forest Service, Chinese tallows account for an astounding 23 percent of all trees in the eight-county Houston area.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      • Great article. Yes, they tend to take over areas of Houston (generally flat) that have been recently cleared for cattle, and then let to “go back to nature”. Being fast growers, they out-compete the pecans and oaks, hence the 23%. If you ask me, the root cause was the original clearing, not the tree itself, which is just doing its thing to survive.

        Thankfully, I only have the three on my property, probably 40-yr-old trees — very pretty in autumn. Since yellow-crowned night herons nest in two of them every year, I’m not in a hurry to remove them. Their saplings are manageable. Just pull ’em up.


        November 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

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