Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Wild Flowers > Colourless Wild Flowers > Hedera helix
Common Name(s): Common Ivy
Scientific Name: Hedera helix
Hedera helix, more commonly known as Common Ivy, may be found growing in woodlands, hedgerows or on walls. Sometimes it is a climber; sometimes it forms a layer at ground level. It is a woody, evergreen perennial that is distributed throughout much of the UK. Ivy has distinctive leaves, which persist throughout the winter months. They are palmate with 3 to 5 distinct triangular lobes. Generally, the leaves have a dark, ‘bottle green’ colour when mature, except around the veins where the colour is lighter; young leaves may be a brighter green. Interestingly, the leaves around the flowers at the top of the plant are different, more elliptical in shape (see above photo). Ivy flowers from late summer until late autumn, and the flowers are very rich in nectar, an important late autumn food source for bees and other insects.
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