Herb: Boston Ivy

Latin name: Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Synonyms: Ampelopsis tricuspidata, Ampelopsis veitchii

Family: Vitaceae (Grape Family)

Edible parts of Boston Ivy:

Sap - sweet. The sap flows quite freely when it is harvested in the spring, as the plant comes into new growth, and can be used as a sugar substitute.

Description of the plant:


18 m
(59 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets and woods in hills and mountains.

Other uses of Boston Ivy:

This species can be grown as a ground cover plant in a sunny position. Plants should be spaced about 2.5 metres apart each way. They are very vigorous, however, and would soon swamp smaller plants.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires stratifying for 6 weeks at 5C and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Germination is variable. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm taken at a node (ensure that it has at least 2 true buds), July/August in a frame. Easy to root but they do not always survive the first winter. Basal hardwood cuttings of current seasons growth, 10 - 12 cm long, autumn in a frame. Layering.

Cultivation of Boston Ivy:

Thickets and woods in hills and mountains.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Parthenocissus tricuspidata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.