Botanical name (parthenos = virgin, kissos = ivy) of the deciduous, liana-like climbing plant with the German names Jungfernrebe, Mauerkatze, Mauerwein, Veitschi or Zaunrebe. Within the family of grapevine plants (Vitaceae), it is one of the 12 genera - just like Vitis, to which the cultivated grapevines belong. With the exception of Vitis, all other genera are colloquially called "wild wine". However, this should not be equated with wild vines, the wild form of cultivated vines. The mostly hermaphroditic flowers can ripen into dark blue or black single standing rather inedible berries.
There are 13 species that are native to the forests of Asia and North America. These include Parthenocissus heptaphylla (Texas and Mexico), Parthenocissus quinquefolia (eastern North America), Parthenocissus chinensis, Parthenocissus dalzielii, Parthenocissus laetevirens, Parthenocissus suberosa, Parthenocissus thomsonii, Parthenocissus tricuspidata = Veitschi (China, Japan and Korea) and Parthenocissus vitacea (western and northern North America) The special feature are the shoot tendrils at the end, which have been transformed into disc-shaped adhesive organs. With the help of these adhesive shells, the mostly very frost hardy plants climb trees and walls up to 20 metres high and more without the need for climbing aids. Because of their decoratively brightly coloured leaves, they are often used as ornamental vines for greening house walls or fences, which is why they are also called "architect's grids". See also under vine systematics