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English ivy
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A species of Ivy, Also known as Common ivy, European ivy, Poet's ivy, Ivy
Botanical name : Hedera helix Genus : Ivy

English ivy, A species of Ivy
Also known as:
Common ivy, European ivy, Poet's ivy, Ivy
Botanical name: Hedera helix
Genus: Ivy
Add to My Garden
English ivy (Hedera helix)

Description

English ivy is the most common climber of European forests. It is a perennial woody vine with evergreen, dark, shiny lobed leaves. It utilizes aerial rootlets to attach to the tree bark with exceptional strength, helping the ivy creep more than 15 m up a tree. English ivy also grows as a forest groundcover and is invasive outside of its native range.
Plant Type
Herb
Bloom Time
Summer, autumn
Flower Color
Green
Yellow
White
Leaf Color
Green
White
Yellow
Variegated
* Disclaimer: Content feedback CAN NOT be used as any basis for EATING ANY PLANTS. Some plants can be VERY POISONOUS, please purchase edible plants through regular channels.

General Info

Name story

English ivy
The word “ivy” originates from the word “ifig” from the Anglo-Saxon language, and it has the same origin as the German word “efeu”. However, the meaning behind the word is unable to be traced back and all the lianas are called ivy to this day. In European countries, especially in the United Kingdom, it is often planted all over the exterior walls of a building. It has become characteristic for British buildings which also prompts the naming of English ivy.

Symbolism

love, loyalty, friendship, strong emotional ties

Usages

Garden Use
English ivy is an evergreen woody vine commonly found in gardens across temperate regions. It is prized for its deep green leaves and ability to grow in shaded areas. This climber’s dense foliage means it is suitable for coverage and ground cover. English ivy is appropriate for Victorian gardens. Plant with flowering creepers such as Climbing Rose to make a color contrast.

Is english ivy toxic?

English ivy is invasive and has a strong reproductive capacity. It can reproduce through rhizomes and is difficult to control. It is classified as a noxious weed by the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and other countries. It is sometimes used as a foliage plant. With moderate toxicity, it will cause dyspnea, coma, and even death if eaten by mistake.

What happens if a horse eats english ivy?

The english ivy is toxic to all animals, including dogs, cats, horses, livestock, and poultry. With moderate toxicity, it will cause dyspnea, coma, and even death if eaten by mistake.

Is it a Weed?

English ivy is an evergreen vine, commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant. It’s popular in landscaping, indoor gardening, and green walling. The plant reproduces both via seeds and vegetatively, via rhizomes. Due to its rampant growth, clinging ability, high adaptability and hardiness, english ivy can easily escape cultivation and become problematic. 

Toxicity

With moderate toxicity, the english ivy contains toxic saponins in its leaves and stems. Erroneous ingestion can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coma, convulsions, and even death. Children are especially susceptible to this, with just 2-3 seeds enough to cause poisoning symptoms and requiring immediate medical attention. Direct skin contact with the plant's sap can also cause burns and dermatitis.
Children who are tempted to snack on the plant's seeds are most at-risk for poisoning, while adults working with the plant in the garden, without wearing gloves, can easily experience skin irritations.

Toxicity in Animals

The english ivy is poisonous when ingested by dogs, cats, horses, livestock, and poultry, with the foliage being more dangerous than the berries. This is due to the plant's saponins, which are also responsible for skin irritation if an animal comes into contact with the sap. Most common poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and oral irritation. In horses, it causes colic and irritability, while cattle tend to stagger about and bellow loudly.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten any amount of english ivy, seek veterinary advice. In the future, make sure that animals do not have access to the plant, and that livestock and horses have plenty of other alternatives for forage. Since the plant is unpalatable, animals will not usually choose to eat it when they have other options available.

Environmental Threats

Native to Europe and western Asia, english ivy has been cultivated extensively, and despite its invasiveness, it is still widely available for sale. It is listed as an invasive species in California, Oregon, most of Canada, Hawaii, Denmark, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia and New Zealand. In the US, the plant has been banned in Oregon, and action has been taken to eradicate it from forests in the Pacific Northwest and southern US.

How to Control it

When handling english ivy, make sure to wear gloves, as the leaves can give you a rash. Young plants can be removed by hand, making sure that the whole root is removed from the soil. For mature, climbing plants, cut the vines at the base and let them dry before pulling them down. Apply herbicides to the cut stump to prevent regeneration. English ivy is an evergreen, so you can apply herbicides even in winter, if temperatures stay above -11 ℃. Before picking the herbicide, consult an agricultural expert to find the best active substance for your geographic region.

Related Articles

English ivy (Hedera helix) English ivy (Hedera helix)

Scientific Classification

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