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English Ivy

( Hedera helix )

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English Ivy
Araliaceae
Hedera
Hedera helix
Linnaeus
BC, ON
Characteristics

Vine

Evergreen

6

Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Clay, Sand, Loam

Dry, Normal, Moist

No

No

No

No
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Mixedwood Plains, Pacific Maritime, Montane Cordillera

Woodland, Savannah, Forest Edge, Prairie/Meadow/Field, Riparian, Salt Water Shorelines
Design Considerations

500 cm

3000 cm

Sep - Oct

Yellow|Green/Brown

No

No

Black


No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Birds, Bees

Yes
Conservation Status

No


Interesting Tidbits

Native Range: Europe, western Asia, northern Africa Invasive Range: ON,BC Time of Invasion: Probably introduced with early European settlers, continues to be sold as an ornamental plant Invasion Pathway: Garden escape Status: Of low concern Impacts: Invades forests, open, shoreline, and urban areas, dense growth and creepers choke trees and other vegetation, can be toxic to mammals Control Measures: Physical removal, cutting (Invasive Species in Canada) Toxicity: All parts of this plant are poisonous. Symptoms inlcude severe skin irritation with redness, itching, and blisters following contact with cell sap. Burning sensation of throat after eating berries; delirium, stupor, convulsions, hallucinations, fever, and rash following ingestion of leaves. ECOLOGICAL THREAT: English ivy is an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as into the forest canopy. The dense growth and abundant leaves, which spring from the stems like small umbrellas, form a thick canopy just above the ground, and prevent sunlight from reaching other plants. Similarly, vines climbing up tree trunks spread out and surround branches and twigs, preventing most of the sunlight from reaching the leaves of the host tree. Loss of host tree vigor, evident within a few years, is followed by death a few years later. The added weight of vines makes infested trees susceptible to blow-over during storms. English ivy also serves as a reservoir for Bacterial Leaf Scorch (Xylella fastidiosa), a plant pathogen that is harmful to native trees such as elms, oaks, and maples. English ivy is a popular plant, still recommended by many for use as a low maintenance alternative to lawns. It is widely used by those wanting a low maintenance, evergreen groundcover. Once established at a site, English ivy can be expected to invade neighboring yards, parks and other lands, either by vegetative means or by seed. Control Methods Tips: Plant alternatives! Western trumpet honeysuckle (climbing vine), false lily-of-the-valley or sword fern (groundcover). Remove the entire plant including the roots. A 3-5 year plan of annual ivy pulls combined with monitoring will be effective on most patches. Techniques: Manual Where the ivy is growing up a tree, cut the stems at shoulder height and at the ground level (being careful not to cut the tree bark) and remove that section of stem. Pull up the plant on the ground and dig up the roots in a 2 m radius around the tree. The vine in the trees will rot before it kills the tree. Remove clippings More detailed removal techniques for both large and small infestations are profiled through No Ivy League (see below.)


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