|Creeping ivy on roadside|
Hedera helix, the common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy, is a species of flowering plant of the ivy genus in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. A rampant, clinging evergreen vine, it is a familiar sight in gardens, waste spaces, and wild areas, where it grows on walls, fences, tree trunks, etc. across its native and introduced habitats. As a result of its hardy nature, and its tendency to grow readily without human assistance, ivy attained popularity as an ornamental plant, but escaped plants have become naturalised outside its native range and grow unchecked in myriad wild and cultivated areas.
Synonyms include Hedera acuta, Hedera arborea ('tree ivy'),Hedera baccifera, and Hedera grandifolia. Other common names are bindwood and lovestone.
The genus name Hedera is the Classical Latin word for 'ivy', which is cognate with Greek χανδάνω (khandánō) 'to get, grasp', both deriving ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- 'to seize, grasp, take'. The specific epithet helix derives from Ancient Greek ἕλιξ (elix), 'helix', and from the Latin helicem, 'spiral', first used around 1600.The binomial in its entirety thus has the meaning "the clinging plant that coils in spirals (helices)". The modern English ivy derives from Middle English ivi, from Old English īfiġ, deriving in turn from Proto-Germanic *ibahs. The meaning is uncertain, but the word may be cognate with the Ancient Greek ἴφυον (íphuon), referring to not Hedera helix, but the unrelated English lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia .
Hedera helix is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) high where suitable surfaces (trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as groundcover where no vertical surfaces occur. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets with matted pads which cling strongly to the substrate. The ability to climb on surfaces varies with the plants variety and other factors: Hedera helix prefers non-reflective, darker and rough surfaces with near-neutral pH. It generally thrives in a wide range of soil pH with 6.5 being ideal, prefers moist, shady locations and avoids exposure to direct sunlight, the latter promoting drying out in winter.
The leaves are alternate, 50–100 mm (2–4 in) long, with a 15–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in) petiole; they are of two types, with palmately five-lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the top of rock faces.
The flowers are produced from late summer until late autumn, individually small, in 3-to-5 cm-diameter (1.2-to-2.0 in) umbels, greenish-yellow, and very rich in nectar, an important late autumn food source for bees and other insects.
The fruit are purple-black to orange-yellow berries 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) in diameter, ripening in late winter, and are an important food source for many birds.
One to five seeds are in each berry, which are dispersed after being eaten by birds.
The three subspecies are:
The closely related species Hedera canariensis and Hedera hibernica are also often treated as subspecies of H. helix,though they differ in chromosome number and so do not hybridise readily. H. helix can be best distinguished by the shape and colour of its leaf trichomes, usually smaller and slightly more deeply lobed leaves and somewhat less vigorous growth, though identification is often not easy.
The range of European ivy is from Ireland northeast to southern Scandinavia, south to Portugal, and east to Ukraine and Iran and northern Turkey.
The northern and eastern limits are at about the −2 °C (28 °F) winter isotherm, while to the west and southwest, it is replaced by other species of ivy. Hedera helix itself is much more winter-hardy and survives temperatures of −23.3 °C (−9.9 °F) (USDA Zone 6a) and above.
Ivy is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. Within its native range, the species is greatly valued for attracting wildlife. The flowers are visited by over 70 species of nectar-feeding insects, and the berries eaten by at least 16 species of birds. The foliage provides dense evergreen shelter, and is also browsed by deer.
In Europe, it is frequently planted to cover wallsand the Bavarian government recommends growing it on buildings for its ability to cool the interior in summer, while providing insulation in winter, as well as protecting the covered building from soil moisture, temperature fluctuations and direct exposure to heavy weather. Further uses include weed suppression in plantings, beautifying unsightly facades and providing additional green by growing on tree trunks.
However, ivy can be problematic. It is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber that is capable of causing damage to brickwork, guttering, etc., and hiding potentially serious structural faults, as well as harbouring unwelcome pests. Careful planning and placement are essential.
Over 30 cultivars have been selected for leaf traits such as yellow, white, variegated (e.g. 'Glacier'), and deeply lobed (e.g. 'Sagittifolia'), and other traits like purple stems and slow, dwarfed growth.
The following 16 cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:
Ivy berries are somewhat poisonous to humans, but ivy extracts are part of current cough medicines.In the past, the leaves and berries were taken orally as an expectorant to treat cough and bronchitis. In 1597, the British herbalist John Gerard recommended water infused with ivy leaves as a wash for sore or watering eyes. The leaves can cause severe contact dermatitis in some people. People who have this allergy (strictly a type IV hypersensitivity) are also likely to react to carrots and other members of the Apiaceae as they contain the same allergen, falcarinol.
Previous studies showed that the Hedera helix extract contains alpha- and beta-hederin (α-hederin and β-hederin), falcarinol, didehydrofalcarinol, rutin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, emetine, nicotiflorin, hederasaponin B and hederacoside C. However, only three extracted components were detectable more than 1.5% in the European ivy leaves (hederacoside C 15.69%, chloro-genic acid 2.07%, and rutin 1.62%). Other components were detectable in very few amounts (< 1%) or not detectable in some studies.
Owing to the large number of saponins in the leaves and fruits of H. helix, it is mildly poisonous to animals like rabbits and can lead to anemia.
Like other exotic species, ivy has predominantly been spread to areas by human action. H. helix is labeled as an invasive species in many parts of the United States, and its sale or import is banned in the state of Oregon.
With a great capacity for adaptation, ivy will grow wherever development conditions and habitat similar to that of its European origins exist, occurring as opportunistic species across a wide distribution with close vicariant relatives and few species, indicating recent speciation.
It is considered a noxious weed across southern, especially south-eastern, Australia and local councils provide free information and limited services for removal. In some councils it is illegal to sell the plant.
It is a weed in the Australian state of Victoria.
H. helix has been listed as an "environmental weed" by the Department of Conservation since 1990.
In the United States, H. helix is considered weedy or invasive in a number of regions and is on the official noxious weed lists in Oregon and Washington.Like other invasive vines such as kudzu, H. helix can grow to choke out other plants and create "ivy deserts". State- and county-sponsored efforts are encouraging the destruction of ivy in forests of the Pacific Northwest and the Southern United States. Its sale or import is banned in Oregon. Ivy can easily escape from cultivated gardens and invade nearby parks, forests and other natural areas.
Although popular as a winter holiday decoration, H. helix is invasive and is a pathogen alternate host in British Columbia.
Ivy should not be planted or encouraged in areas where it is invasive. Where it is established, it is very difficult to control or eradicate. In the absence of active and ongoing measures to control its growth, it tends to crowd out all other plants, including shrubs and trees.
Ivy can climb into the canopy of young or small trees in such density that the trees fall over from the weight,a problem that does not normally occur in its native range. In its mature form, dense ivy can destroy habitat for native wildlife and creates large sections of solid ivy where no other plants can develop.
As with any self-climbing facade green, some care is required to make best use of the positive effects: Ivy covering the walls of an old building is a familiar and often attractive sight. It has insulating as well as weather protection benefits, dries the soil and prevents wet walls, but can be problematic if not managed correctly.
Ivy, and especially European ivy (H. helix) grows vigorously and clings by means of fibrous roots, which develop along the entire length of the stems. These are difficult to remove, leaving an unsightly "footprint" on walls, and possibly resulting in expensive resurfacing work. Additionally, ivy can quickly invade gutters and roofspaces, lifting tiles and causing blockages. It also harbors mice and other creatures. The plants have to be cut off at the base, and the stumps dug out or killed to prevent regrowth.
Therefore, if a green facade is desired, this decision has to be made consciously, since later removal would be tedious.
Hedera helix is able to climb relatively smooth vertical surfaces, creating a strong, long lasting adhesion with a force of around 300 nN. This is accomplished through a complex method of attachment starting as adventitious roots growing along the stem make contact with the surface and extend root hairs that range from 20 to 400 μm in length. These tiny hairs grow into any small crevices available, secrete glue-like nanoparticles, and lignify. As they dry out, the hairs shrink and curl, effectively pulling the root closer to the surface. The glue-like substance is a nano composite adhesive that consists of uniform spherical nanoparticles 50-80 nm in diameter in a liquid polymer matrix. Chemical analyses of the nanoparticles detected only trace amounts of metals, once thought to be responsible for their high strength, indicating that they are largely organic. Recent work has shown that the nanoparticles are likely composed in large part of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs), which exist in other plant adhesives as well. The matrix portion of the composite is made of pectic polysaccharides. Calcium ions present in the matrix induce interactions between carboxyl groups of these components, causing a cross linking that hardens the adhesive.
A vine is any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent stems, lianas or runners. The word vine can also refer to such stems or runners themselves, for instance, when used in wicker work.
Toxicodendron is a genus of flowering plants in the sumac family, Anacardiaceae. It contains trees, shrubs and woody vines, including poison ivy, poison oak, and the lacquer tree. All members of the genus produce the skin-irritating oil urushiol, which can cause a severe allergic reaction. The generic name is derived from the Greek words τοξικός (toxikos), meaning "poison," and δένδρον (dendron), meaning "tree". The best known members of the genus in North America are poison ivy (T. radicans), practically ubiquitous throughout most of eastern North America, and western poison oak, similarly ubiquitous throughout much of the western part of the continent.
Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is an allergenic Asian and Eastern North American flowering plant in the genus Toxicodendron. The species is well known for causing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash, in most people who touch it. The rash is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant's sap. The species is variable in its appearance and habit, and despite its common name, it is not a true ivy (Hedera), but rather a member of the cashew and pistachio family (Anacardiaceae). T. radicans is commonly eaten by many animals, and the seeds are consumed by birds, but poison ivy is most often thought of as an unwelcome weed. It is a different species from western poison ivy, Toxicodendron rydbergii, which has similar effects.
Hedera, commonly called ivy, is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.
Hibiscus syriacus is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is native to south-central and southeast China, but widely introduced elsewhere, including much of Asia. It was given the epithet syriacus because it had been collected from gardens in Syria. Common names include the rose of Sharon,, Syrian ketmia, shrub althea, and rose mallow. It is the national flower of South Korea and is mentioned in the South Korean national anthem.
Parthenocissus quinquefolia, known as Virginia creeper, Victoria creeper, five-leaved ivy, or five-finger, is a species of flowering vine in the grape family, Vitaceae. It is native to eastern and central North America, from southeastern Canada and the eastern United States west to Manitoba and Utah, and south to eastern Mexico and Guatemala.
Hosta is a genus of plants commonly known as hostas, plantain lilies and occasionally by the Japanese name gibōshi. Hostas are widely cultivated as shade-tolerant foliage plants. The genus is currently placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae, and is native to northeast Asia. Like many "lilioid monocots", the genus was once classified in the Liliaceae. The genus was named by Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick in 1812, in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host. In 1817, the generic name Funkia was used by German botanist Kurt Sprengel in honor of Heinrich Christian Funck, a collector of ferns and alpines; this was later used as a common name and can be found in some older literature.
Ilex aquifolium, the holly, common holly, English holly, European holly, or occasionally Christmas holly, is a species of flowering plant in the family Aquifoliaceae, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. It is regarded as the type species of the genus Ilex, which by association is also called "holly". It is an evergreen tree or shrub found, for example, in shady areas of forests of oak and in beech hedges. In the British Isles it is one of very few native evergreen trees. It has a great capacity to adapt to different conditions and is a pioneer species that repopulates the margins of forests or clearcuts.
Hedera hibernica, common name Atlantic ivy, Boston Ivy or Irish ivy, is a woody vine native to the Atlantic coast of Europe.
×Fatshedera is hybrid genus of flowering plants, common name tree ivy or aralia ivy. It has only one species, ×Fatshedera lizei. The hybrid symbol × in front of the name indicates that this is an inter-generic hybrid, a cross between plants from different genera. The name may be displayed with or without a space after the × symbol.
Fatsia japonica, also glossy-leaf paper plant, fatsi, paperplant, false castor oil plant, or Japanese aralia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to southern Japan and southern Korea.
Coleus scutellarioides, commonly known as coleus, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to southeast Asia through to Australia. Typically growing to 60–75 cm (24–30 in) tall and wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen perennial, widely grown for the highly decorative variegated leaves found in cultivated varieties. Another common name is painted nettle, reflecting its relationship to deadnettles, which are in the same family. The synonyms Coleus blumei, Plectranthus scutellarioides and Solenostemon scutellarioides are also widely used for this species.
Hydrangea serrata is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae, native to mountainous regions of Korea and Japan. Common names include mountain hydrangea and tea of heaven. Growing to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall and broad, it is a deciduous shrub with oval leaves and panicles of blue and pink flowers in summer and autumn (fall). It is widely cultivated as an attractive ornamental shrub throughout the world in areas with suitable climate and soil.
Poison ivy is a type of allergenic plant in the genus Toxicodendron native to Asia and North America. Formerly considered a single species, Toxicodendron radicans, poison ivies are now generally treated as a complex of three separate species: Toxicodendron radicans, Toxicodendron rydbergii, and Toxicodendron orientale. They are well known for causing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash, in most people who touch it. The rash is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant's sap. They are variable in appearance and habit, and despite its common name, it is not a "true" ivy (Hedera), but rather a member of the cashew and pistachio family (Anacardiaceae). T. radicans is commonly eaten by many animals, and the seeds are consumed by birds, but poison ivy is most often thought of as an unwelcome weed.
Acer palmatum, commonly known as Japanese maple, palmate maple, or smooth Japanese maple (Japanese: irohamomiji, イロハモミジ, or momiji,, is a species of woody plant native to Japan, Korea, China, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their large variety of attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular colors.
Hedera algeriensis, the Algerian ivy, is a species of evergreen ivy native to the North African coast, including coastal mountains in Algeria.
Hedera canariensis, the Canary Island ivy, Canary ivy or Madeira ivy, is a species of ivy, native to the Canary Islands and possibly the Atlantic coast of northern Africa.
Hedera maroccana, the Moroccan ivy, is a species of ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast in northern Africa. It is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 20–30 m high where suitable surfaces are available, and also growing as ground cover where there are no vertical surfaces. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets which cling to the substrate. In warm climates, it grows more rapidly and becomes established a good bit faster than the related Hedera hibernica and Hedera helix.
Hedera cypria, is a species of Ivy which is endemic to the island of Cyprus. It is an evergreen climbing plant, growing slowly to 20–30 m high where suitable surfaces are available, and also growing as ground cover where there are no vertical surfaces. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets which cling to the substrate. It is more common at higher altitudes in rocky, shadowy riverine forest, over 400–650 m. In its natural habitat it can be distinguished easily from Hedera helix subsp. poetarum, also present, because the latter has yellow fruits, while Hedera cypria is always black-fruited.
Hedera pastuchovii, (Araliaceae) is a species of ivy native to eastern Transcaucasia and listed in The Red Book of the Azerbaijan SSR, 1989.