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Persian Ivy

Hedera colchica

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Araliaceae (Ivy)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
6 metres long
Gardens, hedgerows.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of tiny yellowish-green flowers.
Globular berries, turning black upon ripening.
A woody evergreen climbing shrub. Large leathery green leaves with curled margins.
Other Names:
Colchis Ivy.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Hedera colchica, commonly known as Colchis ivy, is a species of ivy native to western and southwestern parts of the Caucasus Mountains, in the region of Colchis, Georgia. It is a climbing or trailing evergreen vine that can grow up to 20 meters long. The leaves are glossy and dark green, and the plant produces small greenish-white flowers in the fall, followed by black berries. Hedera colchica is known for its large, glossy leaves and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping. It can be trained to grow on walls, trellises, and other structures, also it is used to cover large areas of ground or to provide a natural privacy barrier. This ivy is considered hardy and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It is considered to be a little less invasive than other species of ivy, but still can be invasive in some areas.


Persian Ivy, also known as Hedera colchica, is a species of ivy that is native to the Caucasus region, including Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. This plant is known for its large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves, which can grow up to 8 inches wide and 10 inches long. It is a popular ornamental plant, often used to cover walls, fences, and trellises, as well as to add greenery to indoor spaces.

One of the most striking features of Persian Ivy is its foliage. The leaves are deep green in color and have a glossy sheen that makes them stand out in any setting. They are also quite large, which gives them a dramatic appearance. The leaves are also arranged in a spiral pattern, which adds to their aesthetic appeal. Persian Ivy is a relatively fast-growing plant, so it can quickly cover walls and other surfaces.

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, Persian Ivy has some practical benefits as well. It is an effective ground cover, as it can quickly spread and cover large areas of ground. It is also a great plant for erosion control, as its roots help to hold soil in place. Persian Ivy is also known to have air-purifying properties, making it a great choice for indoor spaces.

One thing to keep in mind when growing Persian Ivy is that it can be quite invasive. If left unchecked, it can quickly take over a garden or landscape. Therefore, it is important to keep it under control by regularly pruning it and removing any new growth that appears outside of its designated area.

Persian Ivy is also known for its hardiness and ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-draining soil. It is also relatively drought-tolerant, although it will do best with regular watering during hot and dry periods.

In terms of propagation, Persian Ivy can be grown from seeds, stem cuttings, or by layering. Stem cuttings taken in late summer or early fall tend to root well and can be easily propagated. Once established, Persian Ivy requires minimal maintenance, although it can benefit from regular fertilization and pruning to promote healthy growth and prevent it from becoming too overgrown.

It is important to note that while Persian Ivy is a beautiful and useful plant, it can also be toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Therefore, it is important to keep it out of reach of children and pets and to be cautious when handling it.

In terms of its cultural significance, Persian Ivy has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and boost the immune system. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, Persian Ivy also plays an important role in the ecosystem. It provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, bees, and butterflies. Its dense foliage also helps to provide cover for small mammals and insects.

In terms of its symbolism, Persian Ivy has been associated with a variety of meanings throughout history. In ancient Greece, ivy was associated with Dionysus, the god of wine and celebration, and was often used to make wreaths for celebrations and festivals. In medieval Europe, ivy was associated with love and fidelity, and was often used in wedding ceremonies and as a decoration for bridal wreaths.

Today, Persian Ivy continues to be a popular choice for weddings and other celebrations, as well as for use in home décor and landscaping. Its timeless beauty and versatility make it a classic choice that is sure to never go out of style.

Persian Ivy also has a number of practical uses beyond its ornamental and ecological benefits. Its foliage can be used to create natural dyes, with the leaves producing shades of green and yellow. The plant also has a number of medicinal uses, with its leaves and stems containing compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. In traditional medicine, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, bronchitis, and arthritis.

In terms of cultivation, Persian Ivy is a relatively low-maintenance plant that can be easily grown from cuttings or seeds. It can be grown indoors or outdoors, and is well-suited for a variety of climates and growing conditions. It is also relatively pest-resistant, although it can be susceptible to spider mites and other common garden pests.

One important thing to keep in mind when growing Persian Ivy is that it can be quite invasive if left unchecked. Therefore, it is important to monitor its growth and to prune it regularly to prevent it from spreading beyond its designated area. In addition, Persian Ivy can be toxic if ingested, so it is important to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

In conclusion, Persian Ivy is a beautiful, versatile, and practical plant that has a wide range of uses and benefits. Whether you are looking to add some greenery to your home or garden, or simply appreciate its aesthetic appeal and cultural significance, Persian Ivy is a plant that is well worth considering. With its glossy foliage, hardiness, and practical benefits, it is a plant that is sure to bring beauty, joy, and a touch of the exotic to any space it inhabits.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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