Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata'
Common Name: bullock's heart ivy
Type: Vine
Family: Araliaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 10.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Greenish white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Heavy Shade, Dry Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Trim plants in early spring to control growth and maintain attractive appearance. For ground covers, large areas may if necessary be mowed with a rotary mower on a high setting. Not reliably winter hardy in the St. Louis area where it appreciates a winter mulch and a protected location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hedera colchica, commonly called Persian ivy, is an evergreen woody vine or ground cover which produces the largest leaves (4-10" long) of any of the ivies. The leaves are leathery, slightly toothed, heart-shaped, deep green and curl at the edges giving a slightly wilted appearance. As a vertical vine, stems will climb and adhere to most surfaces by aerial rootlets, typically growing to 10-15' tall in 5 years, but if not pruned can eventually reach 30-50'. As a ground cover, stems root as they spread outward. Adult forms produce panicles of greenish white flowers that are insignificant but attractive to bees. Its globular black fruits are eaten by birds.

Genus name is the Latin name for ivy.

Specific epithet refers to Colchis the name for a region in the Southern Caucasus on the eastern coast of the Black Sea where this plant is native.

'Dentata Variegata' has broad, variegated foliage with creamy-white margins.

Problems

Leaf spots and mites can be significant problems. Slugs and snails will sometimes hide and breed in the thick foliage.

Garden Uses

Extremely versatile. Forms dense ground cover which will crowd out weeds and other plants. Particularly effective in shady areas where grass will not grow. Good plant to control soil erosion on slopes or hills. Can be grown to cover a variety of vertical structures such as trellises or walls or topiary forms. Variegated forms are also grown in hanging baskets or as a houseplant.