Global invasive species database

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  • Hedera helix foliage (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, The University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Hedera helix flower (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Hedera helix fruit (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Hedera helix covering a large oak tree (Photo: Randy Cyr, GREENTREE Technologies, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Hedera helix infestation (Photo: Chris Evans, The University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org)
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Common name
English ivy (English)
Synonym
Hedera helix , f. arborescens
Hedera helix , var. conglomerata
Hedera helix , var. crenata
Hedera helix , f. minima
Hedera helix , var. minima
Hedera helix , var. taurica
Hedera poetarum , var. taurica
Hedera taurica
Similar species
Hedera helix cvs., Hedera colchica
Summary
Hedera helix is an evergreen climbing vine of the ginseng family (Araliaceae). It is an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as into the forest canopy. It is widely used as a fast-growing, low maintenance, evergreen groundcover and once established at a site, Hedera helix can be expected to move beyond its intended borders by vegetative means or by seed. Seeds are dispersed to new areas primarily by birds.
Species Description
Diedrich and Swearingen (2000) describe Hedera helix as an evergreen climbing vine in the ginseng family (Araliaceae). Leaves are dark green, waxy, somewhat leathery, and arranged alternately along the stem. H. helix has many recognized leaf forms. The 3-lobed leaves occur on the juvenile plant, which climbs by means of adventitious roots. After reaching a certain size (age?), and usually when it grows tall enough\r\nto get into the sun, the plant assumes its mature form, with unlobed, oval leaves. This form does not climb. The process is not reversible, and cuttings from the mature form remain mature. In fact in cultivation they can be trained into small (non-climbing) shrubs or trees (Thompson, K., pers.comm., 2004). Umbrella-like clusters of small, greenish-white flowers appear in the fall if sufficient sunlight is available. Fruits mature in spring and are black with a fleshy outer covering enclosing one to a few hard, stone-like seeds.
Lifecycle Stages
During the juvenile or non-reproductive stage, Hedera helix is typically a ground cover. The leaves of the adult or reproductive form are usually a lighter green, thick, ovate to rhombic in shape and have less prominent whitish veins. During the adult stage, H. helix produces terminal clusters of greenish-white flowers in the fall, which are pollinated by wasps, bees, and flies. The following spring H. helix produces a dark purple, fleshy drupe (fruit).
Uses
H. helix is widely used by homeowners, horticulturists, landscape contractors, parks departments, and others who desire a fast-growing, low maintenance, evergreen groundcover as an alternative to lawn grass (Diedrich and Swearingen, 2000).
Habitat Description
Diedrich and Swearingen (2000) state that Hedera helix requires temperate to subtropical climates where it infests woodlands, forest edges, fields, hedgerows, coastal areas, salt marsh edges, and other upland areas, especially where some soil moisture is present. H. helix will grow in variable light conditions but prefers shade, damp soils, and a moist, cool environment.
Reproduction
Diedrich and Swearingen (2000) indicates that H. helix reproduces vegetatively and by seed, which is dispersed to new areas primarily by birds. New plants grow easily from cuttings or from stems making contact with the soil.
Pathway
H. helix has been used extensively in many parts of the United States as an ornamental landscape plant (Okerman, UNDATED).

Principal source: English Ivy (Diedrich and Swearingen, 2000)

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr Ken Thompson Department of Animal and Plant Sciences The University Sheffield UK.

Publication date: 2005-11-16

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Hedera helix. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=469 on 25-09-2016.

General Impacts
According to Diedrich and Swearingen (2000), Hedera helix is an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as into the forest canopy. The impacts of H. helix include decrease in native vegetation and loss of biodiversity. The dense growth and abundant leaves, which spring from the stems like small umbrellas, form a thick canopy just above the ground and prevent sunlight from reaching other plants.

Vines climbing up tree trunks spread, surround and cover branches and twigs, preventing most of the sunlight from reaching the leaves of the host tree thus reducing photosynthesis. It cover meristems, and thus disrupt the tree's growth, first on branch tips and eventually at the tree top. The impacts on photosynthesis and growth may well produce parallel damage to the root system, since the tree can no longer provide the level of nutrition to the roots (David L. Morgan in Aliens-L January 28 2005). Loss of host tree vigor, evident within a few years, is followed by death a few years later. The added weight of vines makes infested trees susceptible to blow-over during storms.

Management Info
Integrated management: According to Diedrich and Swearingen (2000), several effective methods of control are available for H. helix, including chemical and non-chemical, depending on the extent of the infestation, the amount of native vegetation on-site, and available time and labor. Vines growing as groundcover can be pulled up by hand, with some difficulty, and left on-site or bagged and disposed of as trash. Vines climbing up into the tree canopy are more difficult to manage. First, vines should be cut at a comfortable height to kill upper portions and relieve the tree canopy. Because H. helix is an evergreen vine and remains active during the winter, herbicide applications can be made to it any time of year as long as temperatures are above12 or 15 degrees Celsius for a few days. The systemic herbicide triclopyr (e.g., Garlon) is absorbed into plant tissues and carried to the roots, effectively killing the entire plant in place. Repeat herbicidal treatments are likely to be needed and follow-up monitoring should be conducted to evaluate the success of treatments.
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Hedera helix
ALIEN RANGE
NATIVE RANGE
  • albania
  • algeria
  • armenia
  • austria
  • belarus
  • belgium
  • bulgaria
  • cyprus
  • czech republic
  • denmark
  • ex-yugoslavia
  • france
  • germany
  • greece
  • hungary
  • ireland
  • israel
  • italy
  • latvia
  • lebanon
  • libyan arab jamahiriya
  • lithuania
  • moldova, republic of
  • morocco
  • netherlands
  • norway
  • poland
  • portugal
  • romania
  • russian federation
  • slovakia
  • spain
  • sweden
  • switzerland
  • syrian arab republic
  • tunisia
  • turkey
  • ukraine
  • united kingdom
Informations on Hedera helix has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Hedera helix in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
According to Diedrich and Swearingen (2000), Hedera helix is an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as into the forest canopy. The impacts of H. helix include decrease in native vegetation and loss of biodiversity. The dense growth and abundant leaves, which spring from the stems like small umbrellas, form a thick canopy just above the ground and prevent sunlight from reaching other plants.

Vines climbing up tree trunks spread, surround and cover branches and twigs, preventing most of the sunlight from reaching the leaves of the host tree thus reducing photosynthesis. It cover meristems, and thus disrupt the tree's growth, first on branch tips and eventually at the tree top. The impacts on photosynthesis and growth may well produce parallel damage to the root system, since the tree can no longer provide the level of nutrition to the roots (David L. Morgan in Aliens-L January 28 2005). Loss of host tree vigor, evident within a few years, is followed by death a few years later. The added weight of vines makes infested trees susceptible to blow-over during storms.

Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
Mechanism
[1] Competition
[1] Parasitism
Outcomes
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
[1] Environmental Species - Population
  • [1] Reduces/inhibits the growth of other species
Management information
Integrated management: According to Diedrich and Swearingen (2000), several effective methods of control are available for H. helix, including chemical and non-chemical, depending on the extent of the infestation, the amount of native vegetation on-site, and available time and labor. Vines growing as groundcover can be pulled up by hand, with some difficulty, and left on-site or bagged and disposed of as trash. Vines climbing up into the tree canopy are more difficult to manage. First, vines should be cut at a comfortable height to kill upper portions and relieve the tree canopy. Because H. helix is an evergreen vine and remains active during the winter, herbicide applications can be made to it any time of year as long as temperatures are above12 or 15 degrees Celsius for a few days. The systemic herbicide triclopyr (e.g., Garlon) is absorbed into plant tissues and carried to the roots, effectively killing the entire plant in place. Repeat herbicidal treatments are likely to be needed and follow-up monitoring should be conducted to evaluate the success of treatments.
Management Category
Prevention
Control
Monitoring
Bibliography
12 references found for Hedera helix

Managment information
The Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)., 2003. Annotated Bibliographies on the Ecology and Management of Hedera helix
Summary: Available from:http://www.goert.ca/documents/Bib_hedeheli.pdf [Accessed 13 February 2008]
The Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)., 2003. Field manual of Hedera helix
Summary: Available from: http://www.goert.ca/documents/InvFS_hedeheli.pdf [Accessed 13 February 2008]
Varnham, K. 2006. Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. JNCC Report 372. Peterborough: United Kingdom.
Summary: This database compiles information on alien species from British Overseas Territories.
Available from: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3660 [Accessed 10 November 2009]
General information
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2005. Online Database Hedera helix
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/itisca/taxastep?king=every&p_action=containing&taxa=Hedera+helix&p_format=&p_ifx=plglt&p_lang= [Accessed March 2005]
Metcalfe, D. J., 2005. Hedera helix L. Journal of Ecology Volume 93 Issue 3 Page 632 - June 2005
Ness, C. 1989. English IvyVirginia Cooperative Extension.
Summary: A fact sheet that contains information on H. helix, including related species.
USDA-ARS (United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service). UNDATED. Taxon: Hedera helix L. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
Summary: An online database that contains information and links on the species H. helix.
Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl?Hedera+helix [Accessed November 2005]
Contact
The following 0 contacts offer information an advice on Hedera helix