Hedera rhombea 4.JPG
Hedera rhombea, Aizu, Fukushima pref., Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Eudicots
Unranked: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Hedera

See text

Hedera helix Leaves 3008px

Ivy, plural ivies (Hedera) is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.


The following species are widely accepted; they are divided into two main groups, depending on whether they have scale-like or stellate trichomes on the undersides of the leaves:[1][2][3]

  • Trichomes scale-like
  • Trichomes stellate
    • Hedera azorica Carrière – Azores Ivy. Azores.
    • Hedera helix L. – Common Ivy (syn. H. caucasigena Pojark., H. taurica (Hibberd) Carrière). Europe, widespread.
    • Hedera hibernica (G.Kirchn.) Bean – Atlantic Ivy (syn. H. helix subsp. hibernica (G.Kirchn.) D.C.McClint.). Atlantic western Europe.

The species of ivy are largely allopatric and closely related, and many have on occasion been treated as varieties or subspecies of H. helix, the first species described. Several additional species have been described in the southern parts of the former Soviet Union, but are not regarded as distinct by most botanists.

The only verified hybrid involving ivies is the intergeneric hybrid × Fatshedera lizei, a cross between Fatsia japonica and Hedera hibernica. This hybrid was produced once in a garden in France in 1910 and never successfully repeated, the hybrid being maintained in cultivation by vegetative propagation.[4][5] Despite the close relationship between Hedera helix and H. hibernica (until relatively recently considered conspecific), no hybrids between them have yet been found.


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ackerfield
  2. McAllister, H. (1982). New work on ivies Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbook 1981: 106–109.
  3. Germplasm Resources Information Network Species Records of Hedera
  4. Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 2: 60. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  5. Metcalfe, D. J. (2005). Biological Flora of the British Isles no. 268 Hedera helix L. Journal of Ecology 93: 632–648.

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