Herbs & Plants

Hedera canariensis

Botanical Name: Hedera canariensis
Family: Araliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Genus: Hedera
Species: H. canariensis

*Hedera grandifolia Hibberd
*Hedera helix var. canariensis (Willd.) DC.
*Hedera helix subsp. canariensis (Willd.) Cout.
*Hedera sevillana Sprenger
*Hedera viridis (Hibberd) G.Nicholson

Common Names: Canarian ivy

Habitat: Hedera canariensis is native to the Atlantic coast in Canary islands and northern Africa.

Hedera canariensis is an evergreen perennial climbing or trailing woody plant shrub or bush, growing to 20–30 m high where suitable surfaces (trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as ground cover where there are no vertical surfaces. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets which cling to the substrate. In warm climates, it grows more rapidly and becomes established faster than the related H. hibernica, and H. helix. It is endemic to the Canary islands where it is quite common especially in Laurel forest of Barbusano.

The leaves of Hedera canariensis are broad, 5 to 20 cm, glossy dark green in colour and a little leathery, with 1-5 lobes, regular in size and shape. It is cultivated in gardens and used in floral arrangements. The flowers are greenish and the fruits, globular and black when ripe. Young stems are green or greenish-brown, sometimes tinged with red or purple, becoming grey or grey brown at maturity.


Hedera canariensis can grow in full sun, semi-shade or shade exposures; variegated plants need several hours of sun daily. They resist occasional and light frosts. They prefer a slightly alkaline and well-drained soil; use a garden substrate mixture with a little lime and 1/3 sand. Transplant every 2-3 years in spring.

Hedera canariensis can be propagated by stem cuttings. Using a sharp knife, cut off 4- to 5-inch-long shoots. Pinch off the leaves on the bottom portion of the cuttings. Dip the cut ends in a rooting hormone.

Edible Uses: Creeping Charlie (also known as ground ivy) is edible. … Edible ground ivy does have a pungent, minty flavor that works well for use as an herb in some foods. Aside from that, ground ivy is best used when the leaves are young and less pungent. It can be eaten fresh, although it’s a bit tangy.

Medicinal Uses:
Hedera helix extract has been reported to have antioxidant properties, antispasmodic properties, antiallergic effects. The effect of dry extracts on respiratory functions of children with chronic bronchial asthma and its antitumour activities has been reported.

Traditional herbalists have used ivy for a wide number of complaints, including bronchitis , whooping cough, arthritis, rheumatism, and dysentery. Decoctions of the herb were applied externally against lice, scabies, and sunburn.

Other Uses:
Hedera canariensis plant is used for land filling. It is an evergreen woody climber scaling the walls and covering the walls with a canopy of leaves. It is also grown as an ornamental plant.

Known Hazards:
Severe irritant and/or allergic contact dermatitis has been described after exposure to Hedera helix L, Hedera canariensis Willd. … Indeed all species of Hedera contain toxic, irritant and allergenic compounds in all plant parts; they are especially concentrated in young leaves and fruit.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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