English ivy

J Leekie D Hanna

Plant Bio

Common Name:English ivy
Species:helix L.
Classification/Rank:English ivy
Method of Transportation:Spreads through vegetative growth and through the spread of seeds by frugivorous birds such as the Northern Robin.
Habitat/Range:Escaped ornamental. Now found in forest edges, coastal areas, woodlands, salt marsh areas and disturbed sites.


English ivy is an attractive vine that is commonly used by homeowners and landscapers due to its resiliance, ability to climb or form ground cover and cold hardiness. Some English ivy stems have been reported to reach up to a foot in diameter and this plant easily smothers the trees that it climbs by using small root like structures that emit at sticky substance. 

English ivy poses a large ecological threat due to its ability to spread through tiny plant fragments. This plant has the ability to kill trees as it climbs them for light, thus blocking the tree's leaves from receiving the light it needs to photosynthesize. The weight of the vines on the weakened trees increase chance of blowover and English ivy serves as a host to the pathogen Bacterial Leaf Scorch which can harm native plant species.

For more information on English ivy contact the Northwest Invasive Plant Council. To report this plant call 1-866-44WEEDS or use the Report-A-Weed application.


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