Welcome to the University of Maryland Extension (UME) of Worcester County which is part of a statewide, non-formal education system within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. This partnership also includes support from USDA as well as the county government. The Worcester County UME faculty and staff provide a broad range of outreach through workshops, seminars, classes, clinics, newsletters, consultations, and media efforts.
Plant of the Week... also known as Virginia creeper, a native deciduous woody vine that can be called a weed or a beautiful native vine. The vine prefers to grow in full sun to partial shade and rich moist but well drained soils, but it is also tolerant of many different soil conditions. Full sun will best support the brilliant fall color. Plants can grow 30-50 feet vigorously up almost anything as it needs no support, clinging to bark, wood, brick or stone with sucker disks or holdfasts which are located at the ends of each tendril. The sucker disks adhere to walls or bark of trees without the use of penetrating rootlets, so they do not damage brick or stone buildings or trees. If there is nothing nearby to climb up the Virginia creeper can spread out on the ground 5-10 feet wide creating a light groundcover. Each palmate leaf is made up of 5 leaflets with a toothed margin and a pointed tip. Each leaflet expands up to 6 inches long. The leaf emerges in early spring with green and purple coloring, turning a dull green in summer. When cool nights are followed by warm days, the leaves turn to crimson red or reddish purple, glowing among green plants that don’t change color in the autumn. In late spring, small greenish flowers grow in open branched clusters that mature in the autumn into bluish fruit about ¼ inch round. Both the flowers and the fruit are often covered by the foliage and are never noticed until the leave fall off in the autumn. Native birds feast on the berries in the fall and winter. These lovely native vines and be planted on slopes to control erosion, as a ground cover or as a climber on trellises, arbors, fences and trees. No serious disease or insect pests.Ginny Rosenkranz