Plant of the Month: October 2011

Parthenocissus quinquifolia is showing full autumn colour in the generally five sectioned leaf. Growing enthusiastically over the wash house to the east of Inverleith House it clings in position by adhesive pads on the end of the tendrils. These are able to adhere to all surfaces taking it towards the light at a rate of approximately four metres a season. A native to E.N.America from where it was introduced into cultivation in 1629. It can now be found naturalised on many areas of waste land as it escaped from gardens throughout Britain.

Two Vitis from different continents are can be found at the north end of the Glasshouses and are well worth seeing. Vitis davidii, native to China, has large leaves with barbed petioles turning deep scarlet. At the moment Vitis bierlandieri from Mexico and the United States have leaves that are fully green, but watch out for their potential.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)