Hedera helix (Ivy)

I am Ivy, also known as Hedera helix. I am an easy-going plant, and I can grow in a variety of habitats from woodlands to wastelands. I love to spread out and climb trees and walls — my stems have special hairs which make me an excellent climber. Some might mistake me for a parasite, but I am entirely self-sufficient with my own roots and my own food. I simply like to grow on larger plants and structures; I have even heard that I help to keep old buildings standing.  

I try to be helpful in my community – in fact, I support over 50 species of wildlife. My flowers provide nectar for bees, hornets, and butterflies. My dense leaves are also useful for birds, bats and insects who need shelter. You will see my leaves throughout the year; they are green, sometimes with creamy yellow markings. In the winter, my yellow-green flowers turn into black berries. Birds love to eat my nutritious berries, so I am great friends with woodpigeons, thrushes, blackcaps, and blackbirds. 

People have shown a love for my leaves for many years, and they are often brought into homes to keep evil spirits at bay – especially in the wintertime when it is the darkest.