Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
English ivy (Hedera helix L.)
ODA rating: B
Oregon English ivy distribution
Other common names
common ivy, branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy, ivy
Click on photo to view larger image
English ivy plant  
English ivy infestation  
Images provided by Tom Forney, Oregon Department of Agriculture
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
Perennial; flowers when light and nutrients optimum. Woody, evergreen vine with long, trailing stems. Leaves alternate, waxy. Juvenile leaves lobed, mature leaves larger and pointed with no lobes. Green or white flowers produce black berries.

Rapid and massive vegetative growth of English ivy vines reaches to tree tops and woody ornamentals. It also can displace native vegetation on the forest floor. English ivy frequently becomes intertwined with forest shrubs creating difficulties for manual removal or herbicide use. Removal costs in some Oregon parks have reached $2000 per acre. Toxicity of this plant is considerd low but a few scattered reports do exist. Asaponic glycoside is found in the leaves and berries. This is an uncommon poisoning, but incidents have been reported in dogs, cats, and pet monkeys, especially when the green berries were eaten.

English ivy was first introduced to the United States by European immigrants and has been widely sold as an ornamental plant for landscaping.

Distribution in Oregon
Widespread and considered very invasive West of the Cascades. English ivy can be found on the East side of the Oregon as an ornamental but has yet to show invasive tendencies in the arid regions.

Biological controls
No approved biological control agent is available.