The genus Hedera comprises climbing or creeping evergreen shrubs in the Araliaceae family, with a wide distribution across Europe, North Africa and Central, South and East Asia. There are approximately 22 recognised species. Commonly known as ivy, they have a juvenile and adult phase of growth; the former, with its characteristic lobed leaves, scrambles and clings using aerial roots and the latter self-supporting and arborescent, carrying the greenish flowers and berries. Many varieties, cultivars and hybrids are available, bred for a range of leaf shapes and variegation. Select carefully as a backdrop for other plantings or for wall cover, particularly in dry and shaded environments. Ingestion may cause severe discomfort and contact with the sap may cause skin irritation.