American Ivy Society


Ivy of the Year 2009

Hedera helix 'Eva'

Hedera helix Eva
Photo Rachel Cobb


The American Ivy Society has selected Hedera helix ‘Eva’ as the Ivy of the Year for 2009.

Some say that newer is better, but this is not always the case. ‘Eva’ certainly proves this with its beautiful creamy-white foliage. This variegated ivy was discovered in the early 1960’s by Tage Melin of Hjallese, Denmark, and the name was published in two German magazines Gartenwelt and Ziepflanzenbau, in 1966. Since that time, this ivy has traveled the world becoming a very popular houseplant.

‘Eva’ is a Variegated Bird’s Foot ivy in the Pierot Classification system and has three forward-pointed lobes with the terminal lobe up to twice as long as the laterals. The variegation is a cream to white margin with a green-gray center. The leaves are arranged close on the stem. It is self-branching but light pruning produces more branching. If left to her own accord, she will make long runners.

This versatile ivy does well as a houseplant, can be used in all types of topiary and has been shown to be winter hardy up to at least zone 6 or -10 degrees (F). For the best color, ‘Eva’ must be grown in good sun light. In lower light levels the variegation may fade to a pale green. In the cool temperatures of winter she will also take on a pinkish hue.

For successful out door planting, remember to plant deep, removing several of the lower leaves and planting to the now lowest leaves. Ivy will root along the new stem, helping it to become established. When possible, plant variegated ivies where they will get some protection from the winter sun and wind, which causes most winter damage.

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"Ivy of the Year"

Because of the surge in popularity of ivy as a pot plant as well as in the garden, The American Ivy Society announced it will select an "Ivy of the Year" annually commencing in 2001. The ivy chosen from the nominees must be easy to grow, hardy, lush, beautiful, and not invasive in the garden.

The "Ivy of the Year" will be chosen by a committee made up of members of The American Ivy Society, nurseryman and growers across the United States. Each ivy will have completed the three year trial period in The American Ivy Society test gardens as well as in commercial nurseries.

When The American Ivy Society was founded in 1974 there were approximately 60 different cultivars of Hedera (Ivy) grown commercially. Today there are over 480 named cultivars. The intense interest in ivy began when people learned that the new ivies are available in an array of colors ranging from all shades of green, green and white to yellows and golds - and they are not invasive as were many of the older cultivars. Some ivy leaves are so delicately cut they resemble the print a bird's foot makes in the sand, while others are curly or fan shaped. They are used as groundcovers, garden specimens, hanging baskets, mixed containers, topiary and the adult forms of ivy are even grown as shrubs.



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