Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
(ivy), a genus of plants of the family Araliaceae. The plants are evergreen woody lianas. The stems have aerial roots by which the plant clings to its support. The alternate leaves are entire or three- to flve-lobed. Heterophylly is typical. The greenish yellow flowers are bisexual, pentamerous, and small. They are gathered in a solitary umbel or in umbels assembled in a raceme. The flowers bloom in autumn, and the fruit is a berry.
There are 15 species of Hedera (according to other data, six), distributed in the mountain zones of the Mediterranean (to the Caucasus), in Western and Central Europe, in the western Himalayas, and in East Asia. They grow in forests, where they climb cliffs, rocky places, and trees. The USSR has five or six species, growing in the Caucasus, the Crimea, and the Western European USSR. Ivy has been used for a long time to decorate walls and as a house plant.
The English ivy (H. helix), a European species, is most often grown. It has three- to five-lobed juvenile leaves, and the fruiting shoots have entire, ovate leaves. The many cultivated forms of English ivy are distinguished by their color and the shape of their leaves. Ivy yields significant amounts of nectar in the fall. The fruits contain saponins and other glycosides.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSR, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Poiarkova, A. I. “Pliushch—Hederá L. “Flora SSSR, vol. 16. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
V. N. GLADKOVA