Ivy characteristics (Hedera helix)

Characteristics of Hedera helix


Hedera helix leaves

Hedera helix leaves

Hedera helix L. (Ivy, English ivy, common ivy, European ivy)

  • Perennial and climbing plant of the Araliaceae family up to 30 m high. Adventitious roots.
  • Leaves from 5 to 10 cm in length; Dark green bright above, light green on the underside; Alternate, petiolated and with innervation evident. The younger, palmately-lobulated with 3-5 lobes; The adults or those that are exposed to the sun, whole.
  • Yellowish green flowers 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter, arranged in clusters composed of numerous umbels. They have 5 stamens and five petals. Flowering occurs from late summer to early fall.
  • Ivy fruits are purple or yellow black berries, according to the different subspecies. The fruits develop throughout the autumn and winter and mature in spring.

It grows wild in Europe, North Africa and Asia. We can find it from the south of Scandinavia to the Iberian Peninsula, reaching by the east Cyprus and the north of Turkey. It grows mainly in shady places in forests, walls, rocks, etc., From sea level to about 1000 m altitude.

It has been introduced in many places in the rest of the world. Its ability to adapt to different types of terrain and climates has determined that, in many of them, it has become an invasive plant.

Such is the case in the United States and Australia where its cultivation is discouraged and information leaflets are provided explaining how to eradicate it.

More information on ivy.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 April, 2021

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