Page 38 - A Field Guide to Fairfax County's Plants and Wildlife
P. 38

English Ivy

(Hedera helix)


This evergreen, perennial vine
climbs 20 to 30 meters high.
Leaves are alternate, dark to
bright green and waxy. Leaves
vary in color and shape but are
most often three-lobed. Small
greenish-yellow flowers in
umbrella-like clusters are present
in late summer. Purple-black berries develop in winter. It spreads by seed and
broken stems and leaves which can take root.

This non-native vine is very invasive Distribution and Habitat
and was introduced to the United
States as an ornamental plant. English Ivy climbs up trees and
Despite all the problems it causes, buildings in woodlands and
people continue to buy and plant suburban areas, and can also
English Ivy as a ground cover. The spread horizontally along the
vine quickly escapes the area where ground. It thrives in shade but can
it is planted and climbs nearby adapt to a variety of soils. It has
buildings and trees. As the vine spread into all five physiographic
covers a tree, it blocks out the sun provinces.
and prevents photosynthesis. This
can cause the tree to die. Role in Food Web

It is a food source for bumblebees,
honeybees and songbirds including
sparrows, American Robins and
Cedar Waxwings.

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