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Hedera helix

English Ivy
Araliaceae
Evergreen, Vines

HEDERA

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.

Hedera helix
Hedera helix

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Hedera helix

From Europe. Dull dark green, three- to five-lobed leaves with paler veins are 2–4 in. wide at the base, and as long. There are many forms, from small-leafed, variegated needlepoint ivies to all-green vines that can cover trees. Small-leafed forms are less aggressive. Ivy plantings harbor snails and slugs.

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