Himalayan Ivy

Hedera nepalensis otherwise known as the Himalayan ivy is a type of ivy that is a woody, perennial, climbing vine that can also be used as ground cover.

Hedera nepalensis (Himalayan ivy)specimen in the Botanischer Garten, Berlin-Dahlem (Berlin Botanical Garden), Berlin, Germany.
Hedera nepalensis (Himalayan ivy)specimen in the Botanischer Garten, Berlin-Dahlem (Berlin Botanical Garden), Berlin, Germany.

The Himalayan ivy can be found mostly in moist soil that’s in the shade. It is rarely used as a ground cover or decorative climber in gardens and parks.

Description

This climbing ivy plant reaches heights of up to 98 feet. The foliage is dark green and glossy where there is a lighter shade of green on the underside of the leaves.

The leaves are usually shaped like 3 triangles joined together and appear oval in shape. They are usually .7 to 6 inches in length depending on whether the leaf is a new sprout (juvenile) or an adult leaf.

During the early stages of growth, the leaves of the Himalayan ivy will be lobed as it grows in dense patches on the ground. Once the plant starts climbing a structure, it then develops woody vines and adult leaves that are unlobed.

Hedera nepalensis is a flowering plant and as such it produces flowers with yellow petals which then develop into a fruit.

Flowers are 7 to 12 mm in length (stalk) with 5 stamens and 1-2 mm long anthers. The fruit is 5-7 mm long and 5-10 mm wide. The color is anywhere usually orange to reddish. Himalayan ivy plants usually bloom in October to April.

Other Names

  • Hedera cinerea
  • Hedera himalaica
  • Hedera helix var. chrysocarpa
  • Hedera helix var. cinerea
  • Hedera helix var. himalaica

Toxicity

All parts of the plant are poisonous as it contains saponins which can irritate the skin, eyes, and cause gastrointestinal disturbances if eaten.

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All species within the genus are to be considered toxic. They can cause negative physical reactions when ingested or when they make contact with unprotected skin.

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