The name ivy conjures up evocative images of established gentry in the northern hemisphere: old buildings covered in ivy, the Ivy-League colleges in the US, and the holly and the ivy at Christmas. In New Zealand, the reality is not so pretty. Ivy is an aggressive and unwelcome weed, partly because many people still plant it, or at least tolerate it until it's too late.
|Ivy flowers and mature leaves, Kelburn, Wellington.|
The flowers have an unpleasant smell, and are visited by flies, bees, and wasps, and also some moths and butterflies. Of these, Jacobs et al. (2009) concluded that wasps would likely be the most effective pollinators in England.
|Ivy is an effective treatment for graffiti on this old wall in Kelburn, Wellingtom.|
Jacobs, J.H.; Clark, S.J.; Denholm, I.; Goulson, D.; Stoate, C.; Osborne, J.L. 2009. Pollinator effectiveness and fruit set in common ivy, Hedera helix (Araliaceae). Arthropod-Plant Interactions DOI 10.1007/s11829-009-9080-9