Persian Ivy

Hedera colchica also known as the Persian ivy is a perennial climbing ivy plant that grows on trees, cliffs, and walls. This type of ivy can also grow on the ground where no vertical surfaces are found.

Hedera colchica Dentata (Persian Ivy).
Hedera colchica Dentata.

Hedera colchica, also called as Persian ivy or colchis ivy, is a very vigorous botanical species, capable of covering vast expanses on the ground as well as along a vertical wall. Its main assets are its good resistance to cold, its longevity and the undeniable beauty of its ample and persistent flowing brilliant green…

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Description

Hedera colchica has two types of leaves. In the young stages (juvenile), the leaves are five-lobed. These five-lobed leaves are usually found creeping along the stems. The adult leaves are unlobed and heart-shaped. The leaves (the largest of any ivy plant) are 5.9 inches wide to and about 10 inches long. The leaves are dark green with a bit of yellow and yellow-green in the center.

The Persian ivy is a flowering plant that produces flowers in late summer into late autumn. The flowers are green in color and produce rich nectar that attracts bees and other insects.

The flowers blossom in September and then turn to fruit during or after the winter months. The fruit (berries) are globe-like in shape and black in color when ripe. The berries are a favorite of many species of birds.

Growth

The Persian ivy can survive in a range of different conditions. However, this ivy plant prefers well-drained or alkaline-rich soils. The roots of the Persian ivy are usually in the shade while the crown of the plant is in direct sunlight. It can be found growing in humid climates, stream valleys, mountain ranges, etc.

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Cultivars

There are several cultivars of the Persian ivy, however, the following gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:

  • H. colchica
  • ‘Dentata’, commonly called Bullock’s heart ivy, or Elephant’s ears.
  • ‘Dentata variegata’, synonyms ‘Dentata aurea’, ‘Variegata’
  • ‘Sulphur heart’, synonym ‘Paddy’s pride’

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