Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Hedera Colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch


Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' Berries (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' Berries (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 6a – 9b

Family: Araliaceae

Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ is a large woody, self clinging, evergreen climber. The leathery leaves of this plant are alternate and up to 25cm long and 15cm across. The juvenile leaves are palmate and have five lobes, the adult are unlobed and cordate. They are dark green with creamy/ white margins. The flowers of the plant are small, greenish, spherical and appear in umbels. The fruit of the plant is a globular black berry, with one to five seeds in each berry. This plant climbs by means of aerial rootlets from the stems.

Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' Leaf (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' Leaf (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’, is commonly known as the Variegated Persian Ivy or Bullock’s Heart Ivy. The species, Hedera colchica, is native to the Near and Middle East.

The etymology of the binomial name  Hedera is derived from the ancient Latin name for Ivy. Colchica is derived from the Turkish name for the region Colchis in the east of Turkey. Dentata is from the Latin meaning ‘toothed’. Variegata is derived from the Latin meaning variegated.

The landscape architect may find Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ useful as an evergreen self clinging climbing plant, particularly in shady locations. It can be  planted en mass on banks and slopes for soil stabilisation and as a low ground cover plant.

Ecologically H. colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ is an important food source for birds, which disperse the plants seeds. The plant also provides a good source of nectar for bees and other insects.

Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hedera colchica 'Dentata Variegata' (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given H. colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

H. colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

H. colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ requires little maintenance.


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