Hedera helix – Common Ivy (central Europe)
Habit: Climbing shoots/self clinging climber; (3) 10-20 (30) m tall or only flatly creeping, habit width 2-15 m, occasionally more; twigs with suckers on the side facing the sun that penetrate into the slightest cracks and pores (0.2mm) and anchor; fast-growing, initially 10-20 cm a year, from the 3rd to 6th year 70-100 (200) cm.
Flowers: Green-yellow, round umbels, September; pungent smell; flowers only on old specimens or overhanging twigs.
Fruits: Pea-size, black, persistent into spring, poisonous; only old plants have fruit.
Leaves: Evergreen, very variable shapes: young leaves three to five-lobed, old leaves pointedly ovoid, like pear leaves; leathery, shiny dark to black-green, bronze-green in winter.
Roots: Cordate, sensitive to soil compaction; the climbing shoots turn into roots in the first few days if enough moisture is present; normally turning into cork after two weeks and not changing again.
Demands: Sun to shade, not damaged in areas with mild winters in full sun, tolerates heat, likes warmth, good in cool, humid areas moderately frost hardy, good for urban areas, tolerates wind.
Soil: Dry to moist, tolerates drought only when established; slightly acidic to very alkaline, in all moderately nutritious substrates.
Note: Also overhanging; if climbing to 1 m previously, then draping to 5 m down; cutting back far into old wood possible.
Hardiness: Zone 6a