Ivy of the Year 2006
Hedera helix 'Anita'
Photo Rachel Cobb
The American Ivy Society, for the sixth year, has chosen Hedera helix 'Anita' to be the "Ivy of the Year" for 2006.
Hedera helix 'Anita' (M, BF), is a miniature Bird foot ivy in the Pierot Classification System, and was found as a presumed sport of Hedera helix 'Needlepoint' by Bob Hornback, Occidental California in 1983, and was named for Hornback's Mother. The American Ivy Society received 'Anita' from Cliff Coon in 1992, who then submitted it for Registration in 1994. Anita' was offered as the American Ivy Society's membership ivy in 1996.
This charming ivy has leaves that are 3 to 5 lobes, dark green, somewhat shiny, and slightly folded upward along the mid-rib. The over all size of the leaves is under an inch, with slightly longer leaves when grown outside. 'Anita' is strongly self-branching and makes mounds of full growth.
'Anita' has proven it's self as a good pot plant as well as a well behaved out door ivy surviving in test gardens to at least -10 degrees. This ivy can also be grown in full sun to dense shade, and will do equally well. This ivy is also well suited for small topiary work.
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"Ivy of the Year"
Because of the surge in popularity of ivy as a pot plant as well as in the garden, The American Ivy Society announced it will select an "Ivy of the Year" annually commencing in 2001. The ivy chosen from the nominees must be easy to grow, hardy, lush, beautiful, and not invasive in the garden.
The "Ivy of the Year" will be chosen by a committee made up of members of The American Ivy Society, nurseryman and growers across the United States. Each ivy will have completed the three year trial period in The American Ivy Society test gardens as well as in commercial nurseries.
When The American Ivy Society was founded in 1974 there were approximately 60 different cultivars of Hedera (Ivy) grown commercially. Today there are over 480 named cultivars. The intense interest in ivy began when people learned that the new ivies are available in an array of colors ranging from all shades of green, green and white to yellows and golds - and they are not invasive as were many of the older cultivars. Some ivy leaves are so delicately cut they resemble the print a bird's foot makes in the sand, while others are curly or fan shaped. They are used as groundcovers, garden specimens, hanging baskets, mixed containers, topiary and the adult forms of ivy are even grown as shrubs.