Hedera, commonly called ivy (plural ivies), is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central, and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa, and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.
On the ground, they remain creeping, not exceeding 5–20 cm in height. It can climb up to at least 30 m above the ground on suitable surfaces like trees, natural rock outcrops, or man-made structures.
Ivies have two leaf types, with palmately lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun.
The juvenile and adult shoots also differ. Juvenile leaves are slender, flexible, and scrambling or climbing with small aerial roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark). Adult leaves are thicker, self-supporting, and has no roots.
The flowers are greenish-yellow with five small petals; they are produced in umbels in autumn to early winter and are very rich in nectar. The fruit is a greenish-black, dark purple, or (rarely) yellow berry 5–10 mm diameter with one to five seeds, ripening in late winter to mid-spring. The seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~Frank Lloyd Write
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