Ivy

Ivy

Overview
Ivy, plural ivies is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 climbing or ground-creeping woody plant
Woody plant
A woody plant is a plant that uses wood as its structural tissue. These are typically perennial plants whose stems and larger roots are reinforced with wood produced adjacent to the vascular tissues. The main stem, larger branches, and roots of these plants are usually covered by a layer of...

s in the family Araliaceae
Araliaceae
Araliaceae is a family of flowering plants, also known as the Aralia family or Ivy family. The family includes 254 species of trees, shrubs, lianas and perennial herbaceous plants into 2 subfamilies...

, native to western, central and southern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

, northwestern Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and across central-southern Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 east to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

.

On level ground they remain creeping, not exceeding 5–20 cm height, but on suitable surfaces for climbing, including tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, natural rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 outcrop
Outcrop
An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. -Features:Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial deposits are covered by a mantle of soil and vegetation and cannot be...

s, or man-made structures such as quarry
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

 rock faces, built masonry
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

 and wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

en structures, they can climb to at least 30 m above the ground.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ivy'
Start a new discussion about 'Ivy'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Ivy, plural ivies is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 climbing or ground-creeping woody plant
Woody plant
A woody plant is a plant that uses wood as its structural tissue. These are typically perennial plants whose stems and larger roots are reinforced with wood produced adjacent to the vascular tissues. The main stem, larger branches, and roots of these plants are usually covered by a layer of...

s in the family Araliaceae
Araliaceae
Araliaceae is a family of flowering plants, also known as the Aralia family or Ivy family. The family includes 254 species of trees, shrubs, lianas and perennial herbaceous plants into 2 subfamilies...

, native to western, central and southern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

, northwestern Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and across central-southern Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 east to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

.

Description


On level ground they remain creeping, not exceeding 5–20 cm height, but on suitable surfaces for climbing, including tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, natural rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 outcrop
Outcrop
An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. -Features:Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial deposits are covered by a mantle of soil and vegetation and cannot be...

s, or man-made structures such as quarry
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

 rock faces, built masonry
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

 and wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

en structures, they can climb to at least 30 m above the ground. Ivies have two leaf
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 types, with palmately 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, from 2 m or more above ground. The juvenile and adult shoots also differ, the former being slender, flexible and scrambling or climbing with small aerial roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark), the latter thicker, self-supporting, and without roots. The flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s are greenish-yellow with five small petals; they are produced in umbel
Umbel
An umbel is an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks which are equal in length and spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs....

s in autumn to early winter, and are very rich in nectar. The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is a greenish-black, dark purple, or (rarely) yellow berry 5–10 mm diameter with one to five seeds, ripening in late winter to mid spring; the seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the berries.

The species differ in detail of the leaf shape and size (particularly of the juvenile leaves), and in the structure of the leaf trichome
Trichome
Trichomes are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and certain protists. These are of diverse structure and function. Examples are hairs, glandular hairs, scales, and papillae.- Algal trichomes :...

s; and also in the size and to a lesser extent, the colour, of the flowers and fruit. The chromosome
Chromosome
A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences. Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve to package the DNA and control its functions.Chromosomes...

 number also differs between species; the basic diploid number is 48, while some are tetraploid with 96, and others hexaploid with 144 and octaploid with 192 chromosomes.

Ecology


They are able to rise above the surface of trees and rocks, more than twenty or thirty meters above ground level. They are climbing plants with lauroide evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 leaves that grow from the bottom of the ravines and river canyons lining the entire surface of the wall or cliff. Ivy climbs with adventitious roots and reaches up to 50 meter in length.
Ivies are plants adapted to the laurel forest
Laurel forest
Laurel forest is a subtropical or mild temperate forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterized by tree species with evergreen, glossy, enlongated leaves, known as laurophyll or lauroide...

, a type of cloud forest
Cloud forest
A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical evergreen montane moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and...

 habitat. European ivy for example, is believed,to have been spread by birds that helped to colonize large areas again where it had disappeared during the glaciations.

Laurus nobilis and Ilex aquifolium are widespread relics of the laurisilva
Laurisilva
Laurisilva or laurissilva is a subtropical forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterised by evergreen, glossy-leaved tree species that look alike with leaves of lauroide type...

 forests that originally covered much of the Mediterranean Basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 when the climate of the region was more humid. Ivy also is a relict plant and one of the survivors of the laurel forest
Laurel forest
Laurel forest is a subtropical or mild temperate forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterized by tree species with evergreen, glossy, enlongated leaves, known as laurophyll or lauroide...

 flora in Europe tertiary
Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...

 era. Disappeared during the glaciations, ivy re-colonizes large areas when the weather was favorable again. With the drying of the Mediterranean during the Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

 era, the laurel forests gradually retreated, and were replaced by the more drought-tolerant sclerophyll
Sclerophyll
Sclerophyll is the term for a type of vegetation that has hard leaves and short internodes . The word comes from the Greek sclero and phyllon ....

 plant communities familiar today. Most of the last remaining laurisilva forests around the Mediterranean are believed to have disappeared approximately ten thousand years ago at the end of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 era, when the Mediterranean Basin became drier and with a harsher climate. Today laurisilva forest persists in some continental and islanders enclaves and Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, which has moderated these climatic fluctuations.

The ecological requirements of the species, are those of the laurel forest
Laurel forest
Laurel forest is a subtropical or mild temperate forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterized by tree species with evergreen, glossy, enlongated leaves, known as laurophyll or lauroide...

 and like most of their counterparts laurifolia in the world, it is a vigorous species with a great ability to populate the habitat that is conducive. Ivy responded to favourable climatic periods and expanded across the available habitat. Ivy occur as an opportunistic species across a wide distribution with close relatives and few species, indicating the recent divergence of this species. The extant ivy species of this group are relatively young. Seeds are spread by birds. Fruits are black and fleshy.

The Hedera genus has led to endemic species on islands, but not so widespread geographically as in the past.
The species related from northeast Atlantic come from a species living in wet temperate areas and more distributed in the Tertiary. The main centers are found inhabiting wet lands in tropical or subtropical montane forests or coastal rainforest or coastal temperate forest in low-altitude. Hedera helix species have adapted to more extreme conditions but mostly depending on favorable soil edaphic conditions, as presence of aquifers, groundwater, rivers, periodic flows, etc.

The patterns of speciation in the Hedera genus, where ivy belongs, indicate that since the onset of aridification on the continent, it diversified in species with the majority of species the product of vicariance
Vicariance
Vicariance is a process by which the geographical range of an individual taxon, or a whole biota, is split into discontinuous parts by the formation of a physical barrier to gene flow or dispersal. Vicariance of whole biotas occurs following large-scale geophysical events such as the uplift of a...

. The fragmentation of once more continuous area facilitated isolation of populations and this likely caused the increase in the rate of speciation as found in the Hedera helix and related species.
In Europe the genus is represented by three native species, Hedera helix, Hedera iberica, and the named Hedera hibernica
Hedera hibernica
Hedera hibernica is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast of Europe. Its common names are the Atlantic Ivy or Irish Ivy.-Overview:...

 of Ireland island. In macaronesian islands Hedera canariensis arose from a common ancestor in the area of laurisilva
Laurisilva
Laurisilva or laurissilva is a subtropical forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterised by evergreen, glossy-leaved tree species that look alike with leaves of lauroide type...

 in the Mediterranean area. The islander Hederas of Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

 in the eastern Atlantic, and Mediterranean sea, norther African Hederas and european Hederas are closely related species. Until recently it was thought there was a single species (Hedera helix), but recent studies have shown that there are several species that differ mainly by microscopic details of the hairiness of the buds.
Hedera helix means Helix helix. Maroccana is the Latin patronymic of Morocco, where the Hedera maroccana species was described. The name of the other Hedera species come from Latin patronymic where the other species was described also.

The hederas islander species from Mediterranean sea and Atlantic Macaronesia can not endure a bad winter, from the continental climate. Those garden cultivated species outside its natural distribution could be killed by a continental winter.

Taxonomy


The following species are widely accepted; they are divided into two main groups, depending on whether they have scale-like or stellate trichomes on the undersides of the leaves:
  • Trichomes scale-like
    • Hedera algeriensis
      Hedera algeriensis
      Hedera algeriensis is a species of evergreen ivy native to the North African coast, including coastal mountains in Algeria, and cultivated in Britain since 1838.- Description :...

      Hibberd – Algerian ivy. Algeria, Tunisia (Mediterranean coast).
    • Hedera canariensis
      Hedera canariensis
      Hedera canariensis is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast in Canary islands and northern Africa. Its common name is the Canarian Ivy.-Description:...

      Willd. – Canaries ivy. Canary Islands.
    • Hedera colchica
      Hedera colchica
      Hedera colchica is a species of Ivy which is native to Near and Middle East. Its common name is the persian Ivy. It is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 30 m high where suitable surfaces are available, and also growing as ground cover where there are no vertical surfaces...

      (K.Koch) K.Koch – Persian ivy. Alborz, Caucasus, Turkey.
    • Hedera cypria
      Hedera cypria
      Hedera cypria, is a species of Ivy which is native to the Mediterranean sea in Cyprus island. It is a plant of botanical family Araliaceae, a species endemic to the island of Cyprus with the name: Hedera cypria...

      McAllister – Cyprus ivy (syn. H. pastuchovii subsp. cypria (McAll.) Hand). Cyprus (Troodos Mts.)
    • Hedera iberica
      Hedera iberica
      Hedera iberica, is a species of Ivy which is native to the mediterranean area, to west Iberian peninsula, mostly in Portugal, southwest Spain, and North Morocco. It is a plant of botanical family Araliaceae, species endemic. Formerly was classified as a sub-species named Hedera maderensis iberica...

      (McAllister) Ackerfield & J.Wen – Iberian ivy. SW Iberian coasts.
    • Hedera maderensis
      Hedera maderensis
      Hedera maderensis, or Madeiran Ivy, is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast in Madeira island. It is a plant of botanical family Araliaceae, species endemic to the island of Madeira with the name: Hedera maderensis...

      – Madeiran ivy. Madeira.
    • Hedera maroccana
      Hedera maroccana
      Hedera maroccana is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast in northern Africa. Its common name is the Marocco Ivy. 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...

      McAllister – Moroccan ivy. Morocco.
    • Hedera nepalensis
      Hedera nepalensis
      Hedera nepalensis is a species of perennial Ivy native to Nepal and Bhutan, as well as Afghanistan, India, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, at altitudes of about 1000-3000 m...

      K.Koch – Himalayan ivy (syn. H. sinensis (Tobl.) Hand.-Mazz.). Himalaya, SW China.
    • Hedera pastuchowii
      Hedera pastuchowii
      Hedera pastuchowii, is a species of Ivy which is native from Eastern Transcaucasus. It is a plant of botanical family Araliaceae. It is in The Red Book of Azerbaijan SSR, 1989....

      G.Woronow – Pastuchov's ivy. Caucasus, Alborz.
    • Hedera rhombea
      Hedera rhombea
      Hedera rhombea, or Japanese Ivy or Songak, is a species of Ivy which is native to the coast of East Asia and some islands of east Asia. It is a plant of botanical family Araliaceae. Formerly named Hedera pedunculata, some sub-species could be subsequently classified as a distinct species...

      (Miq.) Siebold ex Bean – Japanese ivy. Japan, Korea, Taiwan.
  • Trichomes stellate
    • Hedera azorica
      Hedera azorica
      Hedera azorica is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast in Azores Islands. Its common name is Ivy. 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...

      Carrière – Azores ivy. Azores.
    • Hedera helix
      Hedera helix
      Hedera helix is a species of ivy native to most of Europe and western Asia. It is labeled as an invasive species in a number of areas where it has been introduced.-Description:...

      L. – Common ivy (syn. H. caucasigena Pojark., H. taurica (Hibberd) Carrière). Europe, widespread.
    • Hedera hibernica
      Hedera hibernica
      Hedera hibernica is a species of Ivy which is native to the Atlantic coast of Europe. Its common names are the Atlantic Ivy or Irish Ivy.-Overview:...

      (G.Kirchn.) Bean – Atlantic ivy (syn. H. helix subsp. hibernica (G.Kirchn.) D.C.McClint.). Atlantic western Europe.


The species of ivy are largely allopatric
Allopatric speciation
Allopatric speciation or geographic speciation is speciation that occurs when biological populations of the same species become isolated due to geographical changes such as mountain building or social changes such as emigration...

 and closely related, and many have on occasion been treated as varieties or subspecies of H. helix, the first species described. Several additional species have been described in the southern parts of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, but are not regarded as distinct by most botanists.

The only verified hybrid involving ivies is the intergeneric hybrid × Fatshedera lizei, a cross between Fatsia japonica
Fatsia japonica
Fatsia japonica is a species of Fatsia, native to southern Japan....

and Hedera hibernica. This hybrid was produced once in a garden in France in 1910 and never successfully repeated, the hybrid being maintained in cultivation by vegetative propagation. Despite the close relationship between Hedera helix and H. hibernica (until relatively recently considered conspecific), no hybrids between them have yet been found. Hybridisation may however have played a part in the evolution of some species in the genus.

Uses and cultivation



Ivies are of major ecological importance for their nectar and fruit production, both produced at times of the year when few other nectar or fruit sources are available. The Ivy Bee Colletes hederae
Colletes hederae
Colletes hederae, the Ivy Bee, is a species of plasterer bee belonging to the family Colletidae subfamily Colletinae.These mining bees are known from Austria, Belgium, British Isles, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and...

is completely dependent on ivy flowers, timing its entire life cycle around ivy flowering. The fruit are eaten by a range of birds, including thrushes
Thrush (bird)
The thrushes, family Turdidae, are a group of passerine birds that occur worldwide.-Characteristics:Thrushes are plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized birds, inhabiting wooded areas, and often feed on the ground or eat small fruit. The smallest thrush may be the Forest Rock-thrush, at and...

, blackcap
Blackcap
The Blackcap is a common and widespread sylviid warbler which breeds throughout temperate Europe, western Asia and northwestern Africa, and winters from northwestern Europe south to tropical Africa...

s, and woodpigeons. The leaves are eaten by the larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e of some species of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 such as Angle Shades
Angle Shades
The Angle Shades is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is a common and familiar European species and is often strongly migratory....

, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
The Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed throughout southern and central Europe, and southern Sweden....

, Scalloped Hazel
Scalloped Hazel
The Scalloped Hazel is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is a common species of northern and central Europe including the British Isles....

, Small Angle Shades
Small Angle Shades
The small angle shades is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed throughout Europe.As the common name suggests, this species is closely related to the angle shades , and is considerably smaller , but does not especially resemble that species...

, Small Dusty Wave
Small Dusty Wave
The Small Dusty Wave is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found throughout Europe, the Near East and North Africa. In the British Isles it is common in England and Wales but is only found in the eastern half of Scotland and is absent from Ireland.The species is very small and is probably...

 (which feeds exclusively on ivy), Swallow-tailed Moth
Swallow-tailed Moth
The Swallow-tailed Moth is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is a common species across Europe and the Near East....

 and Willow Beauty
Willow Beauty
| image = Peribatodes.rhomboidaria.7197.jpg| image_width = 240px| image_caption = Adult male from Dresden | regnum = Animalia| phylum = Arthropoda| classis = Insecta| ordo = Lepidoptera| zoodivisio = Ditrysia| familia = Geometridae...

.

Ivies are very popular in cultivation within their native range and compatible climates elsewhere, for their evergreen foliage, attracting wildlife, and for adaptable design uses in narrow planting spaces and on tall or wide walls for aesthetic addition, or to hide unsightly walls, fences and tree stumps. Numerous cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s with variegated foliage and/or unusual leaf shapes have been selected for horticultural use. Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

 is attributed with saying "Doctors bury their mistakes, architects cover them with ivy".

On trees


Much discussion has involved whether or not ivy climbing trees will harm them. In Europe the harm is insignificant although there can be competition for soil nutrients and water, and senescent trees supporting heavy ivy growth can be liable to windthrow
Windthrow
In forestry, windthrow refers to trees uprooted or broken by wind. Breakage of the tree bole instead of uprooting is sometimes called windsnap.- Causes :...

 damage. Harm and problems are more significant in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, where ivy is without the natural pests and diseases that control its vigour in its native continents; the photosynthesis or structural strength of a tree can be overwhelmed by aggressive ivy growth leading to death directly or by opportunistic disease and insect attacks caused by weakness from the duress.

On walls


Concerns exist about damages by aerial roots and trunk growth to dry stacked stone, brick or stone and mortar, and stucco-plastered walls. Dry stacked stonework, over enough time for ivy trunks to gain significant caliper, can be damaged or destroyed without ongoing training. For brick or stone and mortar
Mortar (masonry)
Mortar is a workable paste used to bind construction blocks together and fill the gaps between them. The blocks may be stone, brick, cinder blocks, etc. Mortar becomes hard when it sets, resulting in a rigid aggregate structure. Modern mortars are typically made from a mixture of sand, a binder...

 construction it is of general opinion that a soundly mortared installation is impenetrable to the climbing aerial roots and thus not damaged, and even protected from weathering by the ivy deflecting rain impact off the mortar. However, walls with preexisting weakened or loose mortar may be badly damaged, as the ivy's roots penetrate the mortar and break up the wall. Subsequent ivy removal can be difficult, and often causes further damage. Modern mortars containing Portland cement
Portland cement
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout...

 and little lime are stronger than older mortar mixes composed of just sand and lime. Most mortar mixes began containing Portland cement in the 1930s. Older mortar mixes are still used for laying softer types of bricks. Stucco and plaster walls can be aesthetically ruined after ivy pruning or removal, requiring a new topcoat or repainting, and sometimes needing restoration for structural and waterproofing problems. When ivy climbs on wooden structures and fences, there can be direct and secondary problems. The direct issues are runners and trunks growing between boards and expanding construction joints, thus destabilising or destroying the structure. The secondary issues involve the entry of aerial roots into the wood grain causing the wood to split and allowing moisture and fungus
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 to penetrate and accelerate wet rot and eventual collapse.

Invasive exotic domination


Several ivy species have become a serious invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 (invasive exotic) in natural native plant habitat
Habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

s, (especially riparian and woodland) types, and also a horticultural weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in gardens of the western and southern regions of North America with milder winters. Ivies create a dense, vigorously smothering, shade-tolerant evergreen ground-cover there, that can spread through assertive underground rhizomes and above-ground runners quickly over large natural plant community areas and outcompete the native vegetation. The use of ivies as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s in horticulture in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and other states is now discouraged or banned in certain jurisdictions. Similar problems exist in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. For example, in both countries the North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

n drought-tolerant H. canariensis and H. algeriensis and European H. helix were originally cultivated in garden, park, and highway landscaping, but have become aggressively invasive in coastal forests and riparian ecosystems now necessitating costly eradication programs.

Toxicity


The berries are moderately toxic to humans, but are very bitter, so poisoning is rare. Ivy foliage contains triterpenoid
Terpene
Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers, though also by some insects such as termites or swallowtail butterflies, which emit terpenes from their osmeterium. They are often strong smelling and thus may have had a protective...

 saponin
Saponin
Saponins are a class of chemical compounds, one of many secondary metabolites found in natural sources, with saponins found in particular abundance in various plant species...

s and falcarinol
Falcarinol
Falcarinol is a natural pesticide and fatty alcohol found in carrots, red ginseng and ivy. It protects roots from fungal diseases, such as liquorice rot that causes black spots on the roots during storage. Falcarinol is a polyyne with two carbon carbon triple bonds and two double bonds...

, a polyyne
Polyyne
The polyynes are a group of organic compounds with alternating single and triple bonds. The simplest example is diacetylene or buta-1,3-diyne, HC≡C-C≡CH....

; falcarinol is capable of inducing an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens or irritants . Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight....

) in some people. People who have this allergy (strictly a Type IV hypersensitivity
Type IV hypersensitivity
Type IV hypersensitivity is often called delayed type hypersensitivity as the reaction takes two to three days to develop. Unlike the other types, it is not antibody mediated but rather is a type of cell-mediated response....

) are also likely to react to carrots and other members of the Apiaceae
Apiaceae
The Apiaceae , commonly known as carrot or parsley family, is a group of mostly aromatic plants with hollow stems. The family is large, with more than 3,700 species spread across 434 genera, it is the sixteenth largest family of flowering plants...

 as they also contain falcarinol
Falcarinol
Falcarinol is a natural pesticide and fatty alcohol found in carrots, red ginseng and ivy. It protects roots from fungal diseases, such as liquorice rot that causes black spots on the roots during storage. Falcarinol is a polyyne with two carbon carbon triple bonds and two double bonds...

. It has also been shown to kill breast cancer cells.

Etymology and other names


The name ivy derives from Old English ifig, cognate with German Efeu, of unknown original meaning. The scientific name Hedera is the classical Latin name for the plant. Old regional common names in Britain, no longer used, include "Bindwood" and "Lovestone", for the way it clings and grows over stones and bricks. U.S. Pacific Coast
Pacific Coast
A country's Pacific coast is the part of its coast bordering the Pacific Ocean.-The Americas:Countries on the western side of the Americas have a Pacific coast as their western border.* Geography of Canada* Geography of Chile* Geography of Colombia...

 regional common names for H. canariensis include 'California ivy' and 'Algerian ivy', and for H. helix the generic 'English ivy'.

The name ivy has also been used as a common name for a number of other unrelated plants, including Boston ivy (Japanese Creeper Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Parthenocissus tricuspidata is a flowering plant in the grape family native to eastern Asia in Japan, Korea, and northern and eastern China...

, in the family Vitaceae
Vitaceae
Vitaceae are a family of dicotyledonous flowering plants including the grapevine and Virginia creeper. The family name is derived from the genus Vitis...

), Cape-ivy or German-ivy (Delairea odorata in the family Asteraceae
Asteraceae
The Asteraceae or Compositae , is an exceedingly large and widespread family of vascular plants. The group has more than 22,750 currently accepted species, spread across 1620 genera and 12 subfamilies...

), poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans in the family Anacardiaceae
Anacardiaceae
Anacardiaceae are a family of flowering plants bearing fruits that are drupes and in some cases producing urushiol, an irritant. Anacardiaceae include numerous genera with several of economic importance. Notable plants in this family include cashew , mango, poison ivy, sumac, smoke tree, and marula...

), and Swedish ivy (Whorled Plectranthus Plectranthus verticillatus
Plectranthus verticillatus
Plectranthus verticillatus is a plant in the family Lamiaceae , native to South-east Africa, that is commonly grown as a houseplant.Despite its common name it is not closely related to true ivies of the genus Hedera...

, in the family Lamiaceae
Lamiaceae
The mints, taxonomically known as Lamiaceae or Labiatae, are a family of flowering plants. They have traditionally been considered closely related to Verbenaceae, but in the 1990s, phylogenetic studies suggested that many genera classified in Verbenaceae belong instead in Lamiaceae...

).

See also

  • Delairea odorata
    Delairea
    Delairea is a plant genus within the family Asteraceae. It is classified within tribe Senecioneae. It contains only one species, Delairea odorata, which was previously included in the genus Senecio as Senecio mikanioides, and is known as cape ivy in some parts of the world and German ivy in...

     - German ivy or Cape ivy.
  • Parthenocissus tricuspidata
    Parthenocissus tricuspidata
    Parthenocissus tricuspidata is a flowering plant in the grape family native to eastern Asia in Japan, Korea, and northern and eastern China...

     - Boston ivy.
  • Plectranthus verticillatus
    Plectranthus verticillatus
    Plectranthus verticillatus is a plant in the family Lamiaceae , native to South-east Africa, that is commonly grown as a houseplant.Despite its common name it is not closely related to true ivies of the genus Hedera...

     - Swedish ivy.
  • Toxicodendron radicans
    Poison ivy
    Toxicodendron radicans, better known as poison ivy , is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it...

     - Poison ivy.
  • List of air-filtering plants