Ivy is appreciated by some gardeners for its ability to cover quickly, reviled by others—particularly in the Pacific Northwest and Virginia—for its invasive tendencies. Often used as a groundcover because of its horizontal growth habit, it also climbs to cover walls, fences, and trellises, attaching itself firmly by aerial rootlets (a factor to consider when planting against surfaces that must be painted). This type of growth occurs during the plant’s juvenile stage, which can last up to 10 years; during this stage, the thick, leathery leaves are usually lobed. At maturity, ivies become shrubby, with stiff branches clothed in unlobed leaves, and they begin blooming: domelike clusters of greenish white flowers appear in late summer and are followed by black berries in fall.
Native to the Canary Islands and Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Shiny, rich green leaves 5–8 in. wide with three to five shallow lobes. Leaves are more widely spaced along the stems than those of Hedera helix. This is a coarse-looking plant and an aggressive grower.
Grows to 20–55 ft. high and 20–45 ft. wide. Roundish, gray-green juvenile leaves are 1&nda...
Native to western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean, Ficus carica is grown for its edible fr...
This vine climbs to 20–30 ft. Its five-lobed leaves are smaller than the 3-in. leaves of P.x...