A large genus of climbing or trailing deciduous shrubs with lobed or divided leaves which in many species assume brilliant tints of crimson purple, orange red, etc, in the autumn.

Vitis Coignetioe.

Fig. 448. - Vitis Coignetioe.

The Virginian Creeper (V. quinquefolia, Ampelopsis hederacea) is one of the best known. It attains a length of 60 ft., and is one of the most popular climbers in cultivation. There are several varieties of it, including incisa, with deeply cut leaves; hirsuta, downy leaves; and muralis or Engelmanni, which develops sucker-like tendrils that attach the plants to walls, fences, etc, without being fastened artificially.

V. inconstans (far better known as Ampelopsis Veitchi and A. tri~ cuspidata) is a splendid Japanese climber seen almost everywhere, and propagated by thousands annually from cuttings, grafts, or seeds. It is very variable in the shape of its three-lobed leaves, some being larger and more coarsely toothed than others, and differing a good deal in colour at all seasons. Some varieties, however, are brilliant in autumn tints, and all cling naturally by means of suckered tendrils.

V. Coignetioe (congesta) is a Japanese climber with large rounded slightly lobed leaves 6-10 in. across, which assume rich crimson tints in autumn when grown in hot sunny positions (fig. 448). Raised by layers and grafts. V. Thunbergi is somewhat similar but larger. V. heterophylla is better known by its variety humulifolia, a splendid Chinese and Japanese climber with three- to five-lobed serrate dark-green wrinkled leaves. It is remarkable for its masses of turquoise-coloured berries speckled with black in autumn. V. La-brusca, a strong North American climber with roundish heart-shaped lobed leaves covered with reddish-brown down beneath, has large dark-purple or yellowish berries in autumn. V. japonica has leaves divided into five roundish oval serrate leaflets, and has a variety, marmor-ata, with broad yellowish blotches on the leaves.

Of late years a large number of ornamental kinds have been introduced, chiefly from China and Japan, and they include such as amurensis; armata; Henryana, with silvery veins; Tliomsoni, with digitate leaves tinted with claret purple; and several others.