English ivy (Hedera helix)

English ivy Description: Introduced to North America as an ornamental for ground cover. Compounds in English ivy are somewhat toxic and include glycosides that cause vomiting, diarrhea, nervous conditions and dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

Habit: Evergreen, climbs up to 90 ft by clinging aerial roots and trailing to form dense ground cover. Vines attach to the bark of trees, brickwork, and other surfaces by way of numerous, small root like structures, exuding a glue like substance.

Leaves: 3-lobed, heart-shaped, dark green in color, waxy, somewhat leathery, and arranged alternately along the stem.

Stems: Slender, light green but later turning light brown with aerial rootlets.

Flowers: Perfect, small, greenish white in color, found in round clusters, appearing in the fall.

Fruit and seeds: Spring maturing, black in color with a fleshy outer covering, stone-like seeds, about 0.25 in. in diameter, poisonous.

Habitat: Native to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. Found in open forests, forest edges, fields, hedgerows, coastal areas, salt marsh edges, and other upland areas especially where some soil moisture is present.

Reproduction: Vegetatively by root cuttings.

Similar species: Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei); Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata).

Monitoring and rapid response: Pull up vines on the ground by hand then bag and dispose of plants; cut vines climbing on tree. Effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as triclopyr. Follow label and state requirements.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S. Forest Service and Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation VTree.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the Bugwood.org network (http://www.invasive.org).Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (http://images.google.com).

Common Name:

English ivy

Scientific Name:

Hedera helix







USDA Symbol: