Calico Cat Boston Ivy

Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Calcazam'

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Calico Cat Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Calcazam') at Weston Nurseries

Calico Cat Boston Ivy foliage

Calico Cat Boston Ivy foliage

(Photo courtesy of Lake County Nursery)

Height:  40 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Japanese Creeper


One of the showiest of the landscape vines with very attractive green and white variegated leaves edged in pink, small dark blue berries, excellent for screening everything from fences and arbors to homes and buildings; self-clinging, tough and adaptable

Ornamental Features

Calico Cat Boston Ivy has attractive white-variegated dark green foliage with hints of pink which emerges light green in spring on a plant with a spreading habit of growth. The serrated lobed leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding red in the fall. It produces black berries from late summer to mid fall. The red branches are extremely showy and add significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Calico Cat Boston Ivy is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous woody vine with a twining and trailing habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This woody vine will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Calico Cat Boston Ivy is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Calico Cat Boston Ivy will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. As a climbing vine, it tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing facer plants. It should be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This woody vine does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Screening  Garden 
Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features