Hedera helix (species name from Ancient Greek "twist, turn"), also called Ivy, Common Ivy, or English Ivy is a species of ivy native to most of Europe, along the west coast of South America, southwest Asia and Australia. It is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 20-30 m high where suitable surfaces (trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as ground cover where there are no vertical surfaces. It holds on to tree bark and rock by means of short adhesive rootlets. The helix part of the name refers to where there are spirals in the leaves.
The leaves are alternate, 50-100 long, with a 15-20 cm long petiole; they are of two types, with palmately five-lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the top of rock faces. The flowers are produced from late summer until late autumn, individually small, in 3-5 cm diameter umbels, greenish-yellow, and very rich in nectar, an important late food source for bees and other insects; the fruit are small black berries ripening in late winter, and are an important food for many birds, though poisonous to humans. The seeds are dispersed by birds eating the fruit.