Ivy, English ivy (Hedera helix)
A native of northern Africa, Europe and western Asia, English ivy, a widely cultivated garden plant, is widely naturalised in Australia. Ivy is a climber or creeper which forms aerial roots which attach to supporting structures. It spreads rapidly, blanketing the ground in a thick mat of vegetation. This excludes light, eventually choking out other species and preventing their germination. Ivy also grows thickly up over tall tress and shrubs, smothering them and even causing them to fall over under its weight.
Ivy has 3 lobed leaves, which are thin-textured and only slightly glossy, often with a slight whitish marbling. Leaves on flowering stems are larger, and are not lobed. It has inconspicuous greenish flowers in clusters, followed by black berries.
If you have ivy growing in your garden, please don’t let it grow up trees or fences, or anywhere high. Once it is up there, it flowers and the seeds are spread by birds into surrounding bushland (or even into your neighbours’ properties). The other way ivy spreads into bushland is through dumping of garden waste.
Removal: Hand-pull small plants and remove. Plants left lying on the ground will re-grow. For badly infested trees, cut away at least the bottom metre of ivy stems around the trunk and apply herbicide to both ends of the cut stems. Do not try to pull ivy down. Treat it and leave it to die in place.
Wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana
This local native vine will cover a fence or trellis. It has cream flowers with brown or purple streaks, although yellow and white flowered cultivars are available.
Chinese star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides
This evergreen vine from China has dark, glossy foliage and small, starry, white, spicy, nutmeg-scented flowers in summer. It is slow growing initially but later becomes vigorous. Variegated leaf forms are also available.
Rasp fern, Doodia aspera
It makes a good groundcover for a shady site, but will also tolerate full sun and is one of the most drought-tolerant local native ferns.