Hedera helix L.
Europe, northern Africa and perhaps western Asia
This is a woody climbing or creeping vine with aerial (above ground) roots along the stems. The vines attach to the bark of trees, walls and other surfaces by a gluelike substance extruded from many small rootlike structures. It may reach as high as 20m. It is generally a hairless plant however younger parts may have some hairs.
Leaves are pear-shaped, dark green, waxy/leathery, hairless, 3-5-lobed and may be up to 10cm long. The leaf margins are entire. The upper surface of each leaf is darker than the lower. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. Leaf veins are shallowly palmate (spreading from 1 point). Leaves are variable in shape with the most common form being a 3-lobed leaf with a heart-shaped base.
Flowers are small, greenish and with 5 petals and 5 pollen bearing stamens. The style in the centre of the flower is obvious. Flowers usually in summer.
Fruit is a drupe, 5-10mm in diameter, dull blue to black when ripe with a fleshy outer covering enclosing one to a few hard, stone-like seeds.
To remove this plant cut it back as hard as possible and either dig out the roots or apply neat Glyphosate to the freshly cut stems.
Sources & References
Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005
Checked by IEWF, July 2006
Updated by IEWF, January 2007