Evergreen vine in the ginseng family. Leaves are 3-lobed and
glabrous. The leaves are dark green and have a shiny appearance.
They are leathery, thick and evergreen. The vines have a large
quantity of aerial root hairs that aid in climbing. The vine also
grows along the ground and roots at nodes when the soil surface is
moist. The flowers are inconspicuous and yellow, appearing in fall.
The fruit resembles a berry, is black and contains one stone-like
seed. It grows in small clusters of seven to twenty-eight.
Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa
high succession deciduous forests, but will tolerate open areas and
drier soils as well. Highly shade tolerant. It can grow both along
the ground and up tree trunks or other surfaces with the aid of its
aerial roots. English ivy has been observed growing up to ninety
feet high in trees.
English ivy is one
of the more dangerous invasive plants because of its ability to
invade both the ground level and the forest canopy. It is also shade
tolerant, which gives it the ability to invade established forests.
When growing along the ground, it forms a dense cover at ground
level, blocking all sunlight and crowding out all other native
plants and tree regeneration. Vines slowly kill the trees they climb
by enveloping the tree and blocking all sunlight branch by branch.
Trees infested with English ivy are also much more susceptible to
wind sheer and blow down because of the large amount of extra weight
created by the climbing vines. English ivy is also poisonous,
containing a compound which may cause sickness such as
gastrointestinal upset, dizziness and confusion, and breathing
Recommended Native Alternatives
creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
These pages are designed to give the
layperson a general overview of non-native invasive plants commonly
found in the upper Hiwassee River watershed. For more comprehensive
and technical information about a particular species, visit one of
the web sites from our