Ampelopsis quinquefolia. American Ivy.
Nat. Ord.— Vitaceae. Sex. Syst.— Pentandria Monogynia.
Bark and Twigs.
Description. — This is a woody vine, with a rooting, climbing stem, — quinate and digitate leaves ; leaflets, oblong, acuminate, petiolate, dentate, smooth, and turn crimson in autumn ; flowers inconspicuous, greenish, or white, in dichotomous clusters ; calyx entire ; petals five, distinct, spreading ; ovary two-celled, cells two-ovuled ; style very short ; berries dark-blue, acid, smaller than peas, and two-celled, cells one or two-seeded.
History. — The American Ivy is a common and familiar shrubby vine, climbing extensively, and, by means of its radicating tendrils, supporting itself firmly upon trees, ascending to the hight of fifty feet; in the same manner it ascends and overspreads walls and buildings ; its large leaves constituting a luxuriant foliage of dark glossy green. It is found in wild woods and thickets throughout the United States, and blossoms in July, ripening its small blackish berries in October. In various sections it has different names, as Woodbine, Virginian Creeper, Five Leaves, False Grape, Wild Wood Vine, etc. The bark and twigs are the parts used. It is considered a valuable remedy.
Properties and Uses. — Alterative, tonic, astringent, and expectorant. Used principally in form of syrup in scrofula, syphilitic affections, and wherever an alterative is required. It has also been recommended in bronchitis and other pulmonary complaints. Dose of the syrup or decoction, two to four ounces, three times a day.
Off. Prep. — Decoctum Ampelopsis ; Infusum Ampelopsis.