Common ivy

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Ivy climbing a stone wall
Close-up of the leaves, on a brick wall

Common Ivy (Hedera helix) is a vine. It is evergreen - it does not lose its leaves in winter. Originally, the plant grew on the Macaronesian islands, but it spread through the Mediterranean and Europe to Asia. All parts of the plant are poisonous. It is often used as a decorative plant in gardens. Ivy is very important for ecology: its nectar and seeds are available when few other plants are. Sometimes ivy is considered to be an invasive species, esp. in North America.