White Variegated Ivy

"All hail, O Thebes, thou nurse of Semele!
With Semele's wild ivy, crown thy towers."

(480?-406 B.C.E.)


Ingrid Ivy was sacred to the Moon-goddess Semele (Thyone) & to her son Dionysios, because Semele was entwined in ivy when Zeus appeared to her as a golden fire.

Although she was blasted by divine light, the ivy protected the infant in her womb. The Bacchae or Maenads were women who worshipped Cybele & Dionysios, & went armed with pine staffs wrapped in evergreen ivy. They bound their hair & waists in ivy as they rampaged through nights lit by Thyone, the Moon of Inspired Frenzy.

Hedera helix 'Ingrid' is frequently called 'Ingrid Liz,' especially in America among growers of "basket stuffers." 'Ingrid' seems also to be synonymous with 'Ester' aka 'Esther' or 'Mini Ester,' as it was renamed in Denmark then widely distributed in America under this renaming by Proven Winners.

But if 'Ester' is ever actually a different cultivar, it would've been 'Ingrid' with slenderer white margins, while 'Ingrid' has a great deal of white with occasional leaves entirely white. The alternative names 'Liz' & 'Liz II' have no official recognition but may have originated with some grower attempting to distinguish between thin & wide margined 'Ingrids.'

IngridIt is a variegated ivy with small arrow-shaped leaves with three points, the central point largest. The edges are cream-white, with grey-green to olive-green center. It is like a vine bathed in Semele's moonlight!

The amount of variegation can vary from plant to plant or even from leaf to leaf. Ours has a great deal of white & I would expect cuttings from it to retain a great deal of white, though after a few years some vines may become greener.

'Ingrid' is easily started from cuttings & has rapid growth rate after it gets itself well rooted. It tends toward compactness with nodes close together, but will eventually creep a good distance as a groundcover or to cascade from an edge or out of a basket. As a groundcover it quickly roots itself along the nodes, & these points can be clipped out to pot up as separate starts very successfully.

The third photo is from December & shows some slight pink that creeps into the leaves when shocked by cold. This lovely winter effect fades with spring. It won't happen when grown in places that simply don't have any freezing-weather days of winter.

Some ivies are invasive but not the variegated dwarf forms like 'Ingrid.' Ours was planted underneath a cherry tree fairly close to the trunk, a shady spot that is dry & compacted, where soil cannot be worked without damaging the the tree's roots. Very little would grow happily in such a spot, but ivies do excellently, & this white variegated variety brings a sense of light to such shady spots.


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