English Ivy, Common Ivy, European Ivy, Ivy, etc.
Synonyms of Hedera helix (2) (Updated on 1-27-21): Hedera communis Gray, Hedera poetica Salisb. Plants of the World Online lists 127 synonyms of Hedera helix f. helix which you can click HERE to view.
Hedera helix L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the English Ivy. The genus and species were described as such by Carl Von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
There are two infraspecific names, *Hedera helix f. helix, which is the autonym (or type-specimen), and Hedera helix f. poetarum. *When an infraspecific taxon is named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms…
I know nothing about Hedera helix f. poetarum or even if it grows in the United States. Hedera helix f. helix is the same as Hedera helix, which would be the common ivy we see growing on the sides of buildings (etc.) and what we find as hanging baskets.
As of 11-14-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew still lists 18 species in the Hedera genus. It is a member of the plant family Araliaceae with 46 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
I bought my first Ivies in 2009 or 2010 and kept adding a few off and on. I really liked Ivies but I had a problem (only one that I am going to mention). I couldn’t find smaller hanging pots so started buying dead or dying pots of Ivies from the discount rack at Lowe’s. The great thing about the Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi was that they would even give their customers a bigger discount, especially if they were on the discount racks. They thought I was a little whacky buying dead plants until I told them why. But you know how it is when you try to find a decent smaller hanging pot… There aren’t any! I also bought smaller pots from the Family Dollar store that were pretty nice. I found out I could clip the hangers from discarded hanging baskets to the lips of their pots.
Ivies are very easy to grow for the most part. I kept them hanging from trees outside during the summer and in the sunrooms in the winter. You also have to b careful with unwanted critters, though, as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs can be a problem with Ivies. If you have as many plants as I did, that could be a disaster. I found a good spray from Lowe’s that was OMRI listed and I also used Neem oil.
All the Ivies I brought home were by Exotic Angel Plants, which is Costa Farms. They sell a lot of plants to Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.
IVY ‘BIG SHOT’
‘Big Shot’ had nice big leaves. New growth has yellowish specks but they fade away as the leaves get bigger and become dark green. I was borrowing a friend’s camera when I took the above photo and the brightness settings had not been set yet.
IVY ‘DARK PITTSBURG’
‘Dark Pittsburg’ has nice, rich dark green leaves and was a pretty fast grower. This one is in one of the smaller pots from Family Dollar.
Here it is with hangers from an old discarded hanging basket I found somewhere.
One time I was at Wal-Mart and found a nice BIG pot of ‘Jubilee’ but they wanted like $12.00 for it. Well, I wasn’t about to pay $12.00 for an Ivy so I, um… Yeah, you know what I did. I put the cutting in one of the pots I bought a dead plant in it.
IVY ‘LAUREN’S LACE’
The above photo is what ‘Lauren’s Lace’ looked like when I bought it from Lowe’s. It wasn’t all completely dead, but if it died all the way, I would have a pot.
After I cleaned out all the dead parts, I still had a few live stems… I liked the large, variegated, ruffled leaves.
IVY ‘LONNIE’S SURPRISE’
One of the first Ivies I bought, I think ‘Starling’, had a plant with it with larger leaves. I took it out and put it in its own pot. I never found any quite like it for ID, so I just called it ‘Lonnie’s Surprise’. Well, I had to call it something! 🙂
IVY ‘PIXIE DIXIE’
‘Pixie Dixie’ is a neat small-leaved Ivy. Their website says it is a “mini ivy”…
‘Primadonna’ was one of the last Ivies I bought. Normally I wasn’t a variegated foliage person because pests are harder to see. I started taking a liking to variegated Ivies, though, and this one was a real winner!
IVY ‘SILVER DOLLAR’
‘Silver Dollar’ was another of the last of the Ivies I brought home. It has nice dark green leaves with a think creamy-white margin.
‘Spearpoint’ was one of the first I bought in 2009 or 2010. It has very small leaves and was a fast grower for sure!
‘Starling was another of the first I bought in 2009-2010. All the photos I took of this plant came out blurry. Its leaves were also pretty small. Exotic Angel’s website says it was so named because its leaves look like a bird’s footprint. You would think they could find a better bird to name it after.
Sad to say, I sold the mansion in Mississippi to a group who remodeled it and turned it into the Thompson House Bed and Breakfast. Dad wanted me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri so I had to give up several hundred plants, including the Ivies in January 2013.
Here on the farm, the English Ivy is growing on the walls of the basement where my grandparent’s old house was. It’s hard to imagine it is the same species as the plants in hanging baskets I grew in Mississippi. I had ivy growing on the wall of the mansion, too.
There isn’t a whole lot on the internet about growing Ivies because they are pretty simple, I guess. Most of what is online is about the type growing outside that many people despise. Been there done that. You can click on THIS link to Costa Farm’s Exotic Angel website so you can see all the Ivies they currently offer. You can find them at many plant and florist shops, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Menard’s, etc.
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