x Fatshedera lizei “Annemeike” – Tree Ivy

This Tree Ivy is unusual as it is an intergeneric hybrid which simply means that it is a cross between two closely related but different genera – Fatsia japonica “Moserii” (Moser’s Japanese Fatsia) and Hedera helix (common ivy).  This has produced a plant with the habit of the fatsia and the 5 lobed leaves of the ivy.  These types of hybrid are extremely rare and those that do occur are generally achieved by tinkering from humankind.  This product of an illicit union between seemingly unsuited parents has produced a gorgeous love child, in my opinion far more attractive than either of its kin.  It seems somehow appropriate that this romantic liaison occured 100 years ago in a nursery in the South of France and is believed to be a natural cross.  The price it has paid for this wickedness is that it is sterile and the small white flowers will produce no fruit, therefore it must be vegetatively propagated.  It is a scrambler rather than a climber and can be continually pinched back to create a bush, but to be honest is it worth the trouble? At Cliffe it tumbles down a tricky bank in deepish shade and is perfectly happy. The only problem we have experienced was that last year it was delicious to the deer.  Fortunately this was to little ill effect as this year it has sprung back and seems to have escaped the attention of Bambi (tree ivies are so last season, darling, any deer with any taste is doing the rose thing this year).

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