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Ivy on Trees in UL Botanical GardenFicus in University of  Latvia Botanical Garden
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Ivy on Trees in LU Botanical Garden, Parastā efeja ( Hedera helix), LU Botāniskais dārzs

Ivy on Trees in LU Botanical Garden

Code: A-118-19-AM
Author: Ausma Melluma
Photo taken on April 3, 2019
FREE 667 x 1000 px
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430 KB
S 1333 x 2000 px
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M 1653 x 2480 px
14 x 21 cm / 300 dpi
L 4000 x 6000 px
33.87 x 50.8 cm / 300 dpi
25.8 MB

Hedera helix, the common ivyEnglish ivyEuropean ivy, or just ivy, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. A rampant, clinging evergreen vine, it is a familiar sight in gardens, waste spaces, on walls, tree trunks and in wild areas across its native habitat.

Etymology
Hedera is the generic term for ivy. The specific epithet helix derives from Ancient Greek "twist, turn" (see: Helix), and from the Latin helicem, "spiral-shaped," first used around 1600.

 

Synonyms
Synonyms include Hedera acutaHedera arborea ("tree ivy"), Hedera bacciferaHedera grandifolia, bindwood, and lovestone.

Description
Hedera helix is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) high where suitable surfaces (trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as groundcover where no vertical surfaces occur. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets with matted pads which cling strongly to the substrate. The ability to climb on surfaces varies with the plants variety and other factors: Hedera helix prefers non-reflective, darker and rough surfaces with near-neutral pH. It generally thrives in a wide range of soil pH with 6.5 being ideal, prefers moist, shady locations and avoids exposure to direct sunlight, the latter promoting drying out in winter.

The leaves are alternate, 50–100 mm (2–4 in) long, with a 15–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in) petiole; they are of two types, with palmately five-lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the top of rock faces.

The flowers are produced from late summer until late autumn, individually small, in 3-to-5 cm-diameter (1.2-to-2.0 in) umbels, greenish-yellow, and very rich in nectar, an important late autumn food source for bees and other insects.

The fruit are purple-black to orange-yellow berries 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) in diameter, ripening in late winter, and are an important food for many birds, though somewhat poisonous to humans.

One to five seeds are in each berry, which are dispersed after being eaten by birds.

The three subspecies are:

  • H. h. helix - central, northern and western Europe, plants without rhizomes, purple-black ripe fruit,
  • H. h. poetarum Nyman (syn. Hedera chrysocarpa Walsh) - southeast Europe and southwest Asia (Italy, Balkans, Turkey), plants without rhizomes, orange-yellow ripe fruit,
  • H. h. rhizomatifera McAllister - southeast Spain, plants rhizomatous, purple-black ripe fruit.

The closely related species Hedera canariensis and Hedera hibernica are also often treated as subspecies of H. helix, though they differ in chromosome number so do not hybridise readily. H. helix can be best distinguished by the shape and colour of its leaf trichomes, usually smaller and slightly more deeply lobed leaves and somewhat less vigorous growth, though identification is often not easy.

Range

It ranges from Ireland northeast to southern Scandinavia, south to Portugal, and east to Ukraine and Iran and northern Turkey.

The northern and eastern limits are at about the −2 °C (28 °F) winter isotherm, while to the west and southwest, it is replaced by other species of ivy. Hedera helix itself is much more winter-hardy and survives temperatures of −23.3 °C (−9.9 °F) (USDA Zone 6a) and above.

Cultivation and uses
Ivy is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. Within its native range, the species is greatly valued for attracting wildlife. The flowers are visited by over 70 species of nectar-feeding insects, and the berries eaten by at least 16 species of birds. The foliage provides dense evergreen shelter, and is also browsed by deer.

 

In Europe, it is frequently planted to cover walls and the government recommends growing it on buildings for its ability to cool the interior in summer, while providing insulation in winter, as well as protecting the covered building from soil moisture, temperature fluctuations and direct exposure to heavy weather. Further uses include weed suppression in plantings, beautifying unsightly facades and providing additional green by growing on tree trunks.

However, ivy can be problematic. It is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber that is capable of causing damage to brickwork, guttering, etc., and hiding potentially serious structural faults, as well as harbouring unwelcome pests. Careful planning and placement are essential.

Control and eradication
Ivy should not be planted or encouraged in areas where it is invasive. Where it is established, it is very difficult to control or eradicate. In the absence of active and ongoing measures to control its growth, it tends to crowd out all other plants, including shrubs and trees.

Damage to trees
Ivy can climb into the canopy of young or small trees in such density that the trees fall over from the weight, a problem that does not normally occur in its native range.In its mature form, dense ivy can destroy habitat for native wildlife and creates large sections of solid ivy where no other plants can develop.

Use as building facade green
As with any self-climbing facade green, some care is required to make best use of the positive effects: Ivy covering the walls of an old building is a familiar and often attractive sight. It has insulating as well as weather protection benefits, dries the soil and prevents wet walls, but can be problematic if not managed correctly.

Ivy, and especially European ivy (H. helix) grows vigorously and clings by means of fibrous roots, which develop along the entire length of the stems. These are difficult to remove, leaving an unsightly "footprint" on walls, and possibly resulting in expensive resurfacing work. Additionally, ivy can quickly invade gutters and roofspaces, lifting tiles and causing blockages. It also harbors mice and other creatures. The plants have to be cut off at the base, and the stumps dug out or killed to prevent regrowth.

Therefore, if a green facade is desired, this decision has to be made consciously, since later removal would be tedious.

Mechanism of attachment
Hedera helix is able to climb relatively smooth vertical surfaces, creating a strong, long lasting adhesion with a force of around 300 nN.] This is accomplished through a complex method of attachment starting as adventitious roots growing along the stem make contact with the surface and extend root hairs that range from 20-400 μm in length. These tiny hairs grow into any small crevices available, secrete glue-like nanoparticles, and lignify. As they dry out, the hairs shrink and curl, effectively pulling the root closer to the surface. The glue-like substance is a nano composite adhesive that consists of uniform spherical nanoparticles 50-80 nm in diameter in a liquid polymer matrix. Chemical analyses of the nanoparticles detected only trace amounts of metals, once thought to be responsible for their high strength, indicating that they are largely organic. Recent work has shown that the nanoparticles are likely composed in large part of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs), which exist in other plant adhesives as well. The matrix portion of the composite is made of pectic polysaccharides. Calcium ions present in the matrix induce interactions between carboxyl groups of these components, causing a cross linking that hardens the adhesive.
en.wikipedia.org

Ivy on Trees in LU Botanical Garden

Code: A-118-19-AM
Author: Ausma Melluma
Photo taken on April 3, 2019
FREE 667 x 1000 px
72 dpi
430 KB
S 1333 x 2000 px
4.09 MB
M 1653 x 2480 px
14 x 21 cm / 300 dpi
L 4000 x 6000 px
33.87 x 50.8 cm / 300 dpi
25.8 MB
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