Be­ware in­vader from the east

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

IT IS be­com­ing a chal­lenge to write a new fes­tive Na­ture Notes af­ter 10 years. I have writ­ten about robins, Christ­mas trees, the holly and the ivy, but what about rus­sian ivy? Rus­sian ivy is a gar­den plant which is ap­pear­ing more in our coun­try­side, but it is not a plant which I would choose to have in my small gar­den. To give you a clue, an­other name for rus­sian ivy is mile a minute and yes, this ag­gres­sive clim­ber re­ally does hide a wall or fence in no time at all. The prob­lems come when it es­capes or gets dumped in the wider coun­try­side and starts spread­ing very quickly. The flow­ers are white and are held in big clumps or clus­ters which hang down from the clim­ber. The leaves are paired, big and are pointed in shape. It can still be in flower through De­cem­ber and the leaves are still on cer­tain shel­tered plants at this time of the year, but it is not an ev­er­green, un­like our Bri­tish ivy. This plant might be good for nest­ing birds, but I would rec­om­mend cau­tion if you plant it and best maybe to try a less vig­or­ous clim­ber to hide some un­tidy cor­ner wall or fence.

Rus­sian ivy

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