Ivy flowers attract wildlife

31 October 2013

I’ve extolled the virtues of ivy as a wildlife plant elsewhere in this blog, and it was good to see a confirmation of it’s value the other day. Despite the gales and rain of the night of 27/28 October, the next day the sun shone, and up the top of the garden, on ivy flowers in the sunshine, I was amazed to see six Red Admirals.

Two Red Admirals on ivy flowers

Red Admirals on ivy flowers

I could only get two at any one time in the photo, but here’s a close-up of one of them – isn’t he gorgeous!

Red Admiral on ivy flower.

Red Admiral on ivy flower.

There were also numerous flies and what I think were small wasps (difficult to tell, as they were constantly on the move) enjoying the nectar. Once the flowers finish, the berries will develop, turning black when ripe, and attracting various birds to eat them: I’ve particularly noticed blackbirds and pigeons eating them. Yet another reason for leaving the garden be now – better to clip the ivy back where necessary after the berries have gone, than deprive wildlife of a good source of food.

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2 Comments to “Ivy flowers attract wildlife”

  1. That’s what they were saying on Autumnwatch too about how great ivy is. I read that it takes years for it to flower and it’s only when it grows vertically that it will flower, does it really take that long? I have some growing on the ground but I read that this will never flower…

    • Hi. Sorry for delay replying. I certainly haven’t see ground-growing ivy flower. I think it needs to grow up but then be able to extend outwards, and it’s from the outward-growing growth that the flowers come. Thinking of what we’ve got round the garden, I can’t think of any flowers below about 5′ (1.7m) high. Ivy is slow to get going, but once it is going it can zoom upwards at an astonishing rate, so don’t despair – flowers will come if you let it go up – and even before then, it’s forming a good wildlife shelter.

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