English ivy

Apiales > Araliaceae > Hedera helix L.

English ivy is an evergreen vine that can grow to 100 ft. (30.5 m) in length. Leaves are dark-green and waxy with palmate veins. Leaf shape is very variable, but commonly occurs as a 3-5 lobed leaf with a heart-shaped base. Flowering (maturity) is triggered by sunlight, such as when the vines climb into taller vegetation. In the late summer mature plants produce terminal clusters of greenish-yellow flowers. Fruits are black and fleshy. English ivy can invade woodlands, fields and other upland areas and is spread by runners. Seeds can also be spread by birds. It can grow both along the ground, where it can displace native understory species, and in the tree canopy, often covering branches and slowly killing trees. English ivy is native to Europe and was introduced into North America by early settlers for ornamental purposes. It continues to be widely planted as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage; leaves
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Foliage climbing pine tree in September
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; leaves in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Vine
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); bee visiting flowers
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); in January
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); fruits
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s); young stem in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s); July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Invading roadside park in September
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Fraley, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Fraley, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Kentucky - EPPC List
  • Oregon - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Washington - Noxious Weed Law
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia