Genus of the Month
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the
context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of
all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you might also want to visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes
, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family. Also, you can see my contribution to the
Conservation New England web site, entitled
"The Introduction of Non-Native Plants into Massachusetts".
This month's genus:
Number of Species: about 8
Root: could be derived from "hedra", which is Greek for "seat", or "haedra", which is Celtic for "cord"
Plants in the genus Hedera are more commonly known as ivies, and are characterized by twining vines with aerial roots
that assist these plants in their ascension. There are many cultivars that have found their way into the world of
houseplants. Be careful when deciding whether to plant ivy outdoors; the same qualities that make them good for quickly
covering up "problem areas" in your garden can also make them weedy in some environments. Also, though the fruits are
eaten and dispersed by birds, some (if not all) are poisonous to humans, and the sap from these plants can cause allergic reactions in some.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Hedera species:
- Click here to see a page from the University of Vermont with information about different Hedera species and how to care for these plants.
- Visit "The Ivy Page", from Colorado State University, to find out all about the variety of trichomes (tiny hairs)
that can be found on Hedera species. (Note, as of 4/16/01, the rest of the links for this site don't work, but the trichome pics are spectacular.)
- Click here to learn more about which Hedera species
are most suitable to be grown as bonsai plants. From bonsaiweb.com.
- Here's a link to The Nature Conservancy's fact page
for Hedera helix (English Ivy), an invasive weed in several parts of the U.S.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
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