Scientific name: Anthophyta: Dicotyledonae: Apiales: Araliaceae: Hedera helix
Common Name: Information Sheet, English Ivy
County: not applicable
Photographer: E. M. Barrows
Identifier: E. M. Barrows
Collector: not applicable
Keywords: A alien invasive plant English Ivy information sheet Forest Ecology green flowers
Information Sheet, English Ivy
Hedera helix Linnaeus, English Ivy (Araliaceae = Ginseng Family, Spikenard Family)
Alien in the U.S., native to Europe.
[Greek Hedera, classical name for this genus; helix, old generic name meaning twining]
For more illustrations of English Ivy on this Website, please use "keyword" English Ivy.
Vine, woody, evergreen, on the ground, trees, and other substrates, up to 150 feet long; aerial roots.
Leaves: alternate, leathery (= coriaceous), often lobed; juvenile leaves with 3-5 lobes; adult leaves not lobed.
Flowers: tiny in raceme-like umbels.
Fruit: black berries on mature parts of plants, often on tree trunks, possibly toxic to Humans.
Some forest trees are covered with this vine.
A French specimen lived 440 years (Pellett 1978, 209).
General roles in forests.
English Ivy is an alien autotroph that lives in habitats including forests, forest edges, successional areas, and yards.
Many kinds of organisms consume dead and living English Ivy fruits, leaves, roots, and stems.
Specific roles in forests.
English Ivy is a noxious weed that is abundant in some places where it chokes out native plants and animals.
English Ivy vines are sometimes very thick on tree trunks, possibly harming trees with their weight and competition with tree leaves for sunlight.
Trees that are heavy with English Ivy sometimes crash to the ground.
Although this is a bad forest pest, nurseries sell it, and people continue to plant it in their yards because it is such a useful landscape plant.
English Ivy shares pollinators with native forest plants.
The National Park Service and other groups remove this species from natural areas.
Leaf, root, and stem feeders (parasites) include 3 aphid spp., 1 bacterium sp., 1 beetle sp., 1 bug sp., 12 fungus spp., 1 mite sp., 5 moth spp., and 24 scale spp. (Horst 1990, 693; Westcott 1973, 554).
Nectar and pollen feeders (parasites, pollinators, predators) include beetle spp., bee spp., flower-fly spp., other fly spp., moth spp., and wasp spp.
This is a minor to major honey plant in France, where its honey is aromatic and has a very fine grain in granulation (Pellett 1978).
We grow English Ivy as an ornamental ground cover and vine.
There are over 60 horticultural varieties, some with green-and-white leaves.
Some of the bushy and variegated cultivars are not as invasive as the common green form (Dryden 2000, H9).
The American Ivy Society (wwww.ivy.org) promotes the use of English Ivy.
This plant might cause contact dermatitis in some Humans.
A large dose of the berries might cause poisoning, especially in children, including burning in the throat, gastrointestinal upset with diarrhea, and vomiting.
English Ivy, Hedera helix L., is in the Bible (II Maccabees 6:7) (Zohary 1982).
Controlling Ivy's clinging ways.
Washington Post 5 October: H9.