English Ivy

Also known as:
Common Ivy
Europe, North Africa, Tropical & Subtropical Asia

General description

Long-lived, woody, climbing, evergreen perennial. Stems <30m long, climb or creep with holdfast roots. Also has non-climbing fertile branches with unlobed leaves arranged spirally around stem. Leaves of non-fertile shoots 5-lobed. Yellowish-green flowers (Mar-May) in rounded, umbrella-shaped clusters. Purplish-black, berry-like fruit.

Wasteland, riverbeds, cliffs, open forest, plantations, roadsides. Tolerates wide range of conditions including shade, frost, damp.

Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from stem fragments, garden refuse.

Carpets forest floor & trees, climbing to top of tallest trees. Specialised rockland & epiphytic plants significantly impacted.

Site management

Many plants do not produce viable (or any) seed, but once established, ivy is hard to kill & dispose of.

Recommended approaches

1. Cut stem & paint (5g metsulfuron/1L or 50ml Tordon BK/1L). Best for aerial vines.
2. Vial method for ground infestations. Pull up all stems possible & dispose. Treat remainder by placing cut vine ends in vials 5-10m apart containing 1g metsulfuron/20ml. Move vials monthly until plant eradicated.
3.Spray in summer (5g metsulfuron+10ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Cape ivy
Senecio angulatus

Cape ivy has thick fleshy leaves and yellow flowers.

German ivy
Delairea odorata

German ivy has thin leaves and yellow flowers in the winter.

Houttuynia cordata

Houttuynia can have similar leaves but lacks woody stems. Houttuynia has unpleasant smelling leaves when crushed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
English ivy - Main species image