Hedera helix L.
Common Name: ENGLISH IVY
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: 3
Wetness Index: FACU
Physiognomy: Ad W-Vine

Hedera helix juvenile climbing shoot A. A. Reznicek juvenile climbing shoot

A European species, widely grown as an evergreen vine (or ground cover in more northern areas), escaping, as yet sparingly, to forests and disturbed areas near habitation. First collected as a weed along a fence (where apparently not planted) in Alpena (Alpena Co.) by R. Garlitz in 1984. 

Rather like periwinkle (Vinca minor), up to now most, if not  all, colonies can be traced to plants dumped out with garden refuse or similar transport to the edges of natural areas rather than spread by seed. In all but the mildest winter areas of Michigan, Hedera may climb up trees for a time, but will freeze back to the snowline during harsh winters.

This is an unarmed woody vine with simple evergreen leaves, climbing by aerial roots. It is widely planted in southern Michigan, mostly as a ground cover, and even in gardens will spread beyond where it is welcome. As in our other alien evergreen vine, Euonymus fortunei, the leaves are dimorphic. The juvenile climbing or scrambling phase has leaves more or less lobed, and with strongly whitened areas along the veins, but in the fertile, adult phase, attained only after the plant has climbed to some height, the leaves are unlobed, less white-reticulate, and the stems no longer climb.


Alpena County
Berrien County
Livingston County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. August 13, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=2903.