English ivy

Hedera helix L.

Life cycle

Climbing, evergreen perennial vine.


Alternate, evergreen leaves are dark green, leathery and waxy with white veins. Leaves may be unlobed to three- to five-lobed, depending on the maturity of the plant.

English ivy leaf
English ivy leaf.


High climbing, woody vines are supported by aerial roots. Stems may be extremely long and reach up to 1 foot in diameter on old plants.

English ivy tree English ivy rooting at node
English ivy climbing a tree (left). English ivy creeping stem (right).

Flowers and fruit

White to green flowers are small and inconspicuous. Berrylike fruit are black and contain few seeds. The flowers and fruit are rarely seen.


Seeds and root sprouts.

English ivy young growth
New growth and aerial roots of English ivy.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.