E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hedera helix L.
English ivy
Araliaceae (Ginseng family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14929)

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Distribution of Hedera helix
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English Ivy is a perennial evergreen vine that is commonly cultivated throughout North America. It frequently escapes and becomes invasive in natural areas, particularly near uban centres.

Species Information

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Evergreen climbing shrub with short aerial roots; stems up to 30 m tall.
Stem leaves alternate, evergreen, entire to 3-5 lobed, 4-10 cm long, leathery, glossy, with long stalks, broadly egg-shaped to triangular.
Inflorescence of 1-several, terminal, globose umbels in a racemose arrangement; flowers greenish-yellow, globose.
Bluish-black berries, 2-5 seeded, 6-9 mm.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic disturbed areas and forest floors and trees in the lowland zone; frequent in SW BC, known from SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

This species is listed by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council of the twelve most problematic species in the Vancouver region. For further information about control of this species, visit their web site.


Ecological Framework for Hedera helix

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 18 47 90
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 18
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 287 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(9)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hedera helix var. hibernica G. Kirchn.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References