English Ivy – Adult Leaf Form

Q: I was told this is poison sumac. It is growing up two of my trees to the point they are almost covered. Looks to be some type of ivy.

A: It’s not poison sumac…it’s mature (“adult”) English ivy. Gardeners easily recognize the typically three-lobed leaves of English ivy in the landscape but they are actually seeing the “juvenile” form of the vine.

When English ivy has grown in the same spot for years, new leaves assume a non-lobed shape and the plant begins flowering. The spiky things you see on the vine are flowers. They will produce blue-black berries that birds will eat and disperse to the four corners of your neighborhood.

English ivy mature 1

English ivy mature 2

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