Close your eyes and think of ivy berries in winter. What colours do you see? Bet you're way off the mark. Next time you wander along a hedge containing ivy, stop for a few minutes and look. The berries are subtly beautiful with shades of dark and mid grey, pink and coffee.
Ivy can be invasive, but is a very important plant for wildlife. Ivy nectar and fruit appear when there are few equivalent food sources around. It flowers in September and October. Berries appear in the most severe part of winter when there is little else available. They are eaten by a range of birds, including thrushes, blackcaps and woodpidgeons. Its leaves are eaten by the larvae of butterflies and moths such as the swallow-tailed moth, willow beauty and angle shades.