Vines of Acadiana Park

Because they represent such a diverse and important (to wildlife) component to the vegetational community at the park, we have afforded vines their own special category/listing. Poison ivy, for example, is the single most important food source for birds and some mammals during the winter months.

Family Anacardiaceae

Poison_ivy_Fall_Color Poison_ivy_Fruit Poison_ivy_Leaf

Poison Ivy - Toxicodendron radicans

The single most important food source for birds and some mammals during the winter months. Over 26 species of birds feed on poison ivy. Easily identified by its three irregularly lobed leaflets, hence the saying, "Leaves of three, let it be." Vines growing up are very hairy and grow close to the trunk. Its poisonous oil may cause a rash upon contact, although some people are not as susceptible as others. Foliage turns red or orange in the fall. Often confused with Virginia Creeper or just about any other vine or box elder seedlings.

Family Asteraceae


Hemp Vine - Mikania scandens

This herbaceous vine has opposite triangular leaves on long petioles. Clusters of small white flowers smell like vanilla.

Family Bignoniaceae


Cross Vine - Bignonia capreolata

Each leaf has a forked tendril and two opposite leaflets. Showy, 2-inch yellow and orange flowers in spring. A good nectar source for ruby-throated hummingbirds, since it flowers earlier than other nectar sources. Rabbits and other animals enjoy the fruit. The stem is sometimes smoked like a cigar.

Trumpet_creeper_Flower Trumpet_creeper_Leaves Trumpet_creeper_Vine

Trumpet Creeper - Campsis radicans

Woody high-climbing vine without tendrils. Leaves are opposite with serrated margins, 7-13 leaflets. Large, trumpet-shaped, brilliant reddish-orange flowers all summer which attract ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Family Caprifoliaceae

Japanese_Honeysuckle_Flower Japanese_Honeysuckle_Vine

Japanese Honeysuckle - Lonicera japonica

Bird-introduced exotic. Shreddy-barked woody vine is brown and slightly hairy even when young. Opposite leaves, 1-3 inches long, oblong, with rounded base. White or yellow fragrant flowers in late summer. White-eyed vireo, white-throated sparrow, purple finch, and American goldfinch enjoy this vine in January, and cottontails graze on the foliage year-round. In Japan, the leaves and flowers are made into tea and drank as a tasty beverage, or commonly used to treat colds, fever, or laryngitis.

Family Convolvulaceae

Morning_glory_Flower1 Morning_glory_Flower2

Morning Glory - Ipomoea sp.

There are several species of small herbaceous vines called "morning glories." Easily recognized by round flowers in pink, purple, or white. Flowers close up at night and open in the morning, hence the name. Variable leaves may be triangular or lobed. Seen most often in sunny, disturbed areas.

tie vine

Tie Vine - Jacquemontia tamnifolia

Small herbaceous vine. ½ inch bluish flowers in clusters bloom in fall. Sepals are very hairy. Prefers sunny, disturbed sites. Called "tie vine" because this fast-growing annual vine will tangle up row crops. Seeds are eaten by seed-eating songbirds in the fall.

Family Cucurbitaceae


Cayaponia - Cayaponia quinqueloba

3-lobed leaves are finely hairy. Small white flowers replaced by reddish fruit.


One-seeded Bur Cucumber - Sicyos angulatus

Herbaceous vine with tendrils, angled stem. 5-lobed leaves are sticky and hairy. Whitish flowers followed by cluster of dry bristled fruit.

Family Fabaceae

butterfly pea

Butterfly Pea - Centrosema virginianum

A small delicate herbaceous vine growing up to 6 feet. 3 small leaflets. Small purple flowers. A leguminous plant so its fruit is a slender flattened pod of peas.

downy milk pea

Downy Milk-pea - Galactia volubilis

Purple flowers grow on a plant that closely resembles both butterfly pea, except with different flowers, and beggar's ticks, except that milkpea is a vine. Because of this, it is easily overlooked and also difficult to key out. All have three oval-shaped leaflets and pink to purple flowers. Sometimes found in the escarpment area of the Acadiana Nature Park.

Family Liliaceae


Greenbriar - Smilax sp.

Several species of herbaceous vines. Shiny, leathery, dark green leaves, shape varies by species. Occasional spines. Greenish flowers in summer, dark berries mature in fall and may be eaten by several birds including mockingbirds, catbirds, and fish crows. Rabbits and raccoons eat the leaves and young shoots, and beavers may dig up and eat the tubers. American Indians would treat muscle cramps or other pain by rubbing stem prickles on skin. They also used tea to treat rheumatism, stomach pain, boils, and more. Chemists have tested and confirmed the anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-stress properties of various species of Smilax.

Family Menispermaceae

carolina moonseed

Carolina Moonseed - Cocculus carolinum

Evergreen vine with poisonous grape-like fruit clusters. Vine is herbaceous above, woody at base. Several species eat the fruit from November to December including Eastern phoebe, mockingbird, brown thrasher, cedar waxwing, and white-throated sparrow.

Family Passifloraceae


Passion Vine - Passiflora incarnata

Found in the escarpment area of the Acadiana Nature Station, in sunny spots. Its purple flowers have a whorl of fringe over the petals and a beautiful complex pattern of sepals, filaments, and anthers. The edible fruit are called "maypops," round yellow pods when ripe. Leaves are deeply three-lobed. Seeds inside the fruit pods are consumed by songbirds, and fritillary caterpillars eat the foliage.

Yellow_passionvine_Flower Yellow_passionvine_Fruit

Yellow Passion Vine - Passiflora lutea

Slender stem but high-climbing with tendrils. Broad leaves have 3 lobes. Summer-blooming small yellow flowers have fringe-like petals, a miniature pale version of the more famous Passiflora incarnata. Uncommon; found beside streams in thickets.

Family Polygonaceae

ladies eardrops

Ladies' Eardrops - Brunnichia cirrhosa

Finely grooved green to brown woody vine climbing with tendrils. Leaves are alternate, 2-6 in. long. The name probably comes from the small leathery fruit which resembles earrings.

Family Ranunculaceae


Curl Flower - Clematis crispa

Slender vine is herbaceous above; slightly woody near base. Climbs by twisting, elongated leaf petioles. Opposite, compound leaves have 2-5 pairs of leaflets. 1-2 inch bluish flowers that bloom in summer are fragrant and crinkled.

Family Rhamnaceae

supple jack

Supple Jack - Berchemia scandens; aka "rattan" or "black jack"

High-climbing, woody, very thick vine. Leaves are small, oval, parallel-veined. Common, especially in bottomland/riparian habitats. Many species of birds enjoy the small oblong dark fruit, as well as raccoons and squirrels. American Indians used bark or leaf tea to restore youthful vigor. Burned stems were made into tea to treat a cough.

Family Vitaceae


Pepper Vine - Ampelopsis arborea

This deciduous vine is found in sunny, disturbed sites. Grows in dense colonies. Slender vine climbing with forked tendrils. Leaves are compound, dark green when mature, toothed. Young leaves and stems are red. Tiny green to black fruit looks like peppercorns, but are not edible. Birds that have been observed eating berries in September include red-bellied woodpecker, veery, swainson's thrush, brown thrasher, and cardinal. Raccoons also enjoy the fruit.Toothed leaves divided into five leaflets. Found throughout Louisiana, including cities. Possibly the most highly used (by the largest diversity of bird species as well) native plant species among fall-migrating fruit-eating birds in Louisiana. American Indians used leaf tea for jaundice, diarrhea, or to wash wounds as an astringent, but berries are toxic.

pepper vine2

Pepper Vine - Ampelopsis cordata

Sometimes called "heart-leaf ampelopsis" because of its broad pointed leaves, which have serrated margins. Climbs with forked tendrils. Tiny bluish-green to red fruit is not edible to humans, but some birds like cardinals, brown thrashers, and flickers eat it.

Virginia_creeper-Leaves Virginia_creeper_Vine

Virginia Creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Toothed leaves divided into five leaflets. Found throughout Louisiana, including cities. Possibly the most highly used (by the largest diversity of bird species as well) native plant species among fall-migrating fruit-eating birds in Louisiana. American Indians used leaf tea for jaundice, diarrhea, or to wash wounds as an astringent, but berries are toxic.


Wild Grape - Vitis sp.

Over thirty species of birds use the various species of wild grapes in Louisiana. All have roughly heart-shaped, toothed, sometimes lobed leaves and forked tendrils. Vines are high-climbing, woody. Squirrels, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and skunks eat the fruit as well as songbirds.

Muscadine_Fruit Muscadine_Leaves

Muscadine - Vitis rotundifolia

This kind of wild grape does not have the shreddy bark of most grapes. Unlike other wild grapes, muscadine has single, not forked, tendrils. Purplish black grapes maturing in late summer are edible and very tasty. Can climb 100 feet or higher.

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