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PersonDelyth Williams
HouseBotanical Society of Britain & Ireland (BSBI)

Delyth sent us these interesting points regarding Ivy in North Wales. Maybe you could take a look at your own plants to see which species you have.

Delyth writes:

This is for those of you who do not receive the BSBI's Welsh Bulletin and will not have seen Paul Green's excellent article on identifying your Ivies.

Many of you know that what was once two sub-species of Common Ivy has now been changed to two separate species: Common Ivy (Hedera helix) and Atlantic Ivy (Hedera hibernica).

Many of you know the difference between the two:

Atlantic Ivy: has hairs that sit flat on the underside of leaves, looking like minute starfish. They are a dirty yellow/white or brown in colour.

Common Ivy: has hairs with stalks, looking like minute palm trees. They are a pure crystal white in colour.

What many of you may not know is that Common Ivy is rare in Wales - well, in the western half of Wales at least. Here in the east, especially towards the border - we just aren't sure.

What many of you may also not know is that it is very important to look at the right part of the plant. It has to be the young growth, i.e. young leaves and stems that are creeping and prostrate on the ground or at the base of a tree. Once the stems start to climb upwards, the hairs can't be used for identification.

I attach a photo of Atlantic Ivy sent in by Bryan Formstone, which illustrates the point perfectly. Any offers of a photo of Common Ivy from anyone? Now I'm wondering how reliable my records are, for such a common plant.....

Perhaps folk at the Wrexham end would like to go out hunting and tell me what you find!

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