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  English ivy  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
English ivy Hedera helix

English ivy, a native of Eurasia, is a climbing woody vine with alternate, dark green, waxy leaves. It was introduced into the United States in colonial times. In contrast to many other woody vines, this plant blooms in the fall, producing purple fruits, which are eaten and dispersed by birds. It is well adapted to shade and readily invades forests where it forms dense stands that exclude native species. It produces a large number of adventitious roots which enables it to climb trees. The waxy layer on the leaves makes it especially resistant to herbicides.

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