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A genus of about ten species of deciduous (rarely evergreen) climbers, natives of N. America, E. Asia, and the Himalaya. Tendrils branched, twining or equipped with adhesive pads. Leaves alternate, palmately compound, sometimes simple and three-lobed, or unlobed. Flowers in cymose panicles. Petals four or five, spreading (hence differing from Vitis, in which the petals are united in a cap which falls without expanding). Ovary included in the disk (in Ampelopsis the disk is cup-like and free from the ovary). Fruit a dark blue or black berry, with one to four seeds.
The generic name, meaning ‘Virgin Vine’, derives from the French name for the Virginia creeper – vigne-vierge.