Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): William B. Critchfield
    Date: 1970
    Source: Amer. J. Bot. 57(5): p. 535-542
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.5 MB)


    Boston ivy, a common ornamental vine in the grape family, successively produces two kinds of leaves during the growing season. The two "early leaves" at the base of each shoot are preformed in the winter bud, and their expansion in the spring is accompanied by little stem elongation. At maturity they have large three-lobed blades and long petioles. Most short shoots produce no more leaves, but "late leaves" develop on all long shoots at intervals of less than 2 days. All but the first few undergo their entire development during the growing season. They are much smaller than early leaves, and the lateral lobes of their blades are reduced or eliminated. They are separated from the early leaves and from each other by long internodes. The early and late leaves differ in the circumstances and continuity of ontogeny, and diverge in form at an early stage. This vine and its relatives are unique in their three-node cyclical pattern of organ occurrence and internode length along the shoot. Lateral shoots and buds are present at every third node, with tendrils at intervening nodes. The long shoots branch freely and repeatedly, and the production of late leaves and new shoot axes by vigorous compound shoots is limited only by the growing season. Despite its specialized organization, Boston ivy resembles several tree species in its association between a seasonal type of leaf dimorphism and a shoot system constructed of long and short shoots.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    William B. Critchfield 1970. Shoot growth and leaf dimorphism in Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). Amer. J. Bot. 57(5): p. 535-542

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page