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'Shamrock' Selected as "Ivy of the Year" 2007

by American Ivy Society

Shamrock Ivy
'Shamrock' named Ivy of the Year for 2007. Photo: © Rachel Cobb.

Hedera helix ‘Shamrock’ has been selected by the American Ivy Society as the “Ivy of the Year” for 2007.

This miniature bird’s foot ivy has proven the test of time. ‘Shamrock’ was discovered in the early 1950’s by Louis Hahn & Son Nursery Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was introduced into Europe in 1954 where it has been called the “Clover leaf” Ivy. The name “Shamrock” actually was to honor the Shamrock Hotel, Houston, Texas where this ivy was first introduced to the Florist Trade at a meeting in 1957.

‘Shamrock’ has leaves of mostly three rounded lobes of near equal size with the two lateral lobes overlapping the terminal lobe. The lobes are sometimes divided into almost three leaflets. Shamrock can be very self-branching making mounds of growth. The color is a dark green with lighter veins.

Over the years some slightly different versions of ‘Shamrock’ have been selected. Some with flatter and larger leaves than the original are still considered in the Shamrock group.

This well behaved ivy is equally suited as a house plant, where it does well as a pot plant or topiary, or as an out door ivy. It is very winter hardy surviving to at least zone 5 or minus 20 degrees. Since this is a green ivy it will tolerate even the darkest corner of your garden but will also do well in the sun.

The American Ivy Society started the “Ivy of the Year” program in 2001 with ‘Lady Frances’; 2002 ‘Teardrop’; 2003 ‘Golden Ingot’; 2004 ‘Duck Foot’; 2005 ‘Misty’; and 2006 ‘Anita’.

For successful out door planting, remember to plant ivies deep, removing several of the lower leaves and planting to the new lowest leaves. Ivies will root along the stem, helping them to become established. When possible, plant ivies where they will be protected from the winter sun and wind, which causes the most winter damage.

Membership in the American Ivy Society is$20 annually;this includes free plant, The Ivy Journal, and three Newsletters. Visit


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