Ivy is a member of the Araliaceae family, which includes fifteen species of evergreen, woody and climbing plants.
Flowering occurs in late summer and lasts throughout the autumn; the flowers are small, yellowish-green and grouped in inflorescences of between three and five centimetres in diameter on the ends of each umbel. Its nectar is an important source of late season food for bees and other insects.
Ivy is native to the Macaronesian archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean off northern Africa, western, central and southern Europe, north-west Africa, south-central Asia and eastern Japan.
As an evergreen plant, ivy has been associated with immortality for centuries. It appears in various decorative designs on Ancient Greek ceramics.