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Stellate hairs on underside of young leaf of h helix

Stellate hairs on underside of young leaf of h helix x20

Another plant that flowers at this time of year is Ivy Hedera helix making it a valuable source of late pollen for a range of insects. The Stace (1997) key uses hairs on the young leaves and stems as diagnostic features, and I was quite surprised to see how beautiful these star shaped (stellate) hairs are. H helix is categorised into 2 common sub species in Britain, ssp helix with whitish hairs and ssp hibernica with yellowish brown hairs. This looks like H helix ssp helix to me, which I think is the more widespread one.

Notebook sketch showing flower of h helix

Notebook sketch showing flower of h helix

The flowers are borne in umbels and are mainly green with noticeably yellow anthers. The petals are thick and fleshy while the sepals are black, small and bract like. H helix is the only native representative of the Araliaceae family in Britain.

Close up of stem of h helix

Close up of stem of h helix x20

This last photo shows the sucker like roots on a young shoot which presumably make this plant such an effective climber over walls and trees.

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