English Ivy







English Ivy

(Hedera helix)

Interesting Information About Plant: 

English Ivy makes great ground cover and can grow in places other plants cannot. The English Ivy plant is often seen as a landscaping ground cover or used as a climbing vine on walls or houses.  Provides excellent ground cover and its ability to grow where other plants can not makes it useful for slope sides or poor soil areas. English Ivy can be grown in the sun or shade and it clings by aerial rootlets and by rooting along the ground. Usually no more than 8 inches in height, it features dark evergreen leaves and on older mature plants toxic black berries.  Used in hanging basket floral arrangements as well.


Common Name:  English Ivy

Scientific Name:  Hedera helix

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Araliaceae

Continent of Origin: unknown

Most Distinguishing Morphological Features of This Plant:

Ability to grow in poor soil conditions

Plant Growth Habit:     Ground Cover  /   Climbing  Vine

Height at Maturity:   Less than 1 foot   / 

Life Span:    perennial

Seasonal Habit:    Herbaceous That Stays Green Through Winter 

Growth Habitat:    Partial Sun   /   Shade

Manner of Culture:  Landscape Shrub-Vine-Tree  / 

Thorns on Younger Stem?   No

Cross Section of Younger Stem:      Roundish   

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter:     Less Than The Diameter of a Pencil  

Produces Brownish Bark?   No

Bark Peeling in Many Areas? No

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark:    NA

Type of Leaf:   Flat, Thin Leaf  

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet):   Less than Length of a Credit Card 

Leaf Complexity: Pinnately compoud

Shape of Leaf:    Simple 

Edge of Leaf?    Smooth 

Leaf Arrangement:  Alternate 

Leaf has Petiole?  Yes 

Patterns of Main-Veins:  Pinnate 

Leaf Hairiness:   No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer:    Green 

Change in Color of Foliage in October:     No change

Flowering Season:   Spring 

Flowers:    Tightly Clustered  

Type of Flower:   Like a Grass Flower 

Color of Flower:   White 

Shape of Individual Flower:    Bilaterally Symmetrical  

Size of Individual Flower:  Smaller than a Quarter  

Sexuality:   Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit:    Smaller than a Quarter 

Fruit Fleshiness at Maturity?    Yes

Shape of Fruit:    Spherical    

Color of Fruit at Maturity:      Black

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels?       No   

Unique Morphological Features of Plant:  Ability to climb or cover ground

Is the Plant Poisonous:    Fruit is toxic

Pesty Plant (weedy, hard to control)?    Yes  

Common Name(s): English Ivy, Algerian Ivy

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One:

Morning Glory Ivy


Page prepared by:

Ryan Lederman

December 2005

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© Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 2002-2004