Hedera helix, English Ivy

Creepers and climbers
Scientific Name
Hedera helix
Common Name/s
English Ivy
Weed Information

Threat: High threat environmental weed.

Description: Perennial creeper and climber growing to 30 metres or more in length that can form dense mats and prevent revegetation.

Flowers: Greenish-yellow, in large clusters and each flower is 1.5–4cm long. Flowers between March and July.

Fruit: Globular light green berry turns black with one to three hard seeds in winter when ripe.

Leaves: Alternate, usually glossy. Dark green but lighter on the underside. Juvenile (young) leaves are hand shaped with three to five fingers (lobes) and have lighter veins, which harden when mature.

Stems: Green, flexible and scrambling when young, turning woody when mature. Climbing stems have aerial roots along the underside.

Roots: Main roots woody, thick with lateral and taproot features. Aerial roots, 1–3mm long on side of stem. Stems re-shoot at nodes when cut.

Note: Flowers and fruits generally only form when ivy climbs trees or fences to obtain sunlight. Removal of aerial growth is critical to prevent flowering and contain spread. Fruits spread by birds and animals e.g. foxes. Will readily grow from vegetative parts (roots at nodes) and often spread by the careless disposal of garden waste.

Control measures: Hand weeding, cut and paint with suitable herbicide, spot spraying, mulching/smother, scrape and paint with suitable herbicide.

Dispersal: Birds, animals, vegetative.