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Parrot's Feather

A popular aquatic garden plant that spreads with water currents, animals, boats/trailers and fishing gear. Dense stands can stagnate water, and increase breeding grounds for mosquitoes learn more »

Zebra/Quagga Mussels

These tiny freshwater mussels clog drains, damage infrastructure, and are very costly to control/eradicate learn more »

Giant Hogweed

A towering toxic invasive plant with WorkSafe BC regulations learn more »

European Fire Ant

A tiny ant with a toxic sting learn more »

Purple Loosestrife

An aggressive wetland invader that threatens plant and animal diversity learn more »

Orange Hawkweed

Also yellow, these invasive plants replace native vegetation along roadsides, and threaten areas not yet reforested learn more »

Japanese Knotweed

Grows aggressively through concrete, impacting roads and house foundations learn more »

Spotted Knapweed

A single plant spreads rapidly with up to 140,000 seeds per square metre learn more »

Scotch Broom

An evergreen shrub that invades rangelands, replaces forage plants, causes allergies in people, and is a serious competitor to conifer seedlings learn more »

English Ivy

Species
Hedera helix

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen vine that is recognized as a serious, smothering invasive in much of southwestern BC. It is commonly planted to provide quick cover for walls and buildings, and as ground cover in commercial landscapes. Unfortunatey, it quickly forms a dense monoculture groundcover that suppresses and excludes other vegetation, and is unsuitable for most wildlife habitat.

Thick evergreen ivy mats overwhelm plants on the forest floor, prevent natural seedling succession, debilitate trees, and can damage infrastructure. As a vine, it can completely engulf shrubs and encircles tree trunks of all sizes, leaving nothing uncovered. Shrubs shrouded in ivy may eventually die because light can't reach their leaves. English ivy grows rapidly and needs very little light or water once it's established, and even grows during the winter. 

English ivy lacks flowers and has dull green, lobed leaves with light veins that grow alternately along trailing or climbing stems. Leaves are deeply to shallowly lobed, and range from small, narrow leaves to large, broadly shaped leaves. Ivy leaves also have a thick, waxy coating that helps them to cling to almost any surface. Older vines can be tree-like and as much as five inches thick.

A few native and ornamental alternatives to plant instead of English ivy include: Salal; Deer Fern; Purple Wintercreeper Euonymus; Taiwan Creeping Raspberry; and Privet Honeysuckle. Read more about these alternatives in the Grow Me Instead booklet for BC.

Gallery: English Ivy