- Hedera helix is an evergreen perennial climbing vine that attaches to bark of trees, brickwork and other surfaces by root-like structures that exude a glue-like substance to aid in adherence.
- Leaves are alternate, dark green, waxy, somewhat leathery; extremely variable leaf forms, from unlobed to 3-5 lobed; typically green with whitish veins.
- Flowering occurs in late summer to early fall, typically under full sun conditions; flowers are small, greenish-yellow and occur in globular starburst type inflorescence at tips of flowering stems.
- Fruits are black with a fleshy outer layer and stone-like seeds. New plants grow easily from cuttings or stem fragments that make contact with the soil.
- Ecological Threat
- Hedera helix is an aggressive invader threatening all levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as into the forest canopy. Vines climb up tree trunks and envelop branches and twigs, blocking sunlight from the host tree’s foliage, impeding photosynthesis. An infested tree will exhibit decline for years before it dies. The weight of vines also makes trees susceptible to blowing over in storms. This plant has been confirmed as a reservoir for bacterial leaf scorch (Xylella fastidiosa), which affects a wide variety of trees.