For many years I've heard beekeepers referring to an autumn honey top-up from flowering ivy, which I've found very frustrating as I've got shed-loads of ivy around this place but have never seen so much as a single flower on any of it.
Internet 'expert' sites tell me that common ivy (hedera helix) flowers when mature - after 10 years. Well, the stuff I have is well over 15 years old - so that's unlikely to be the cause of this non-flowering.
Apparently there are 15 different types of ivy, so I thought the simplest way to proceed would be to ask you guys - anyone who has experience of flowering ivy - to help identify and/or confirm some plant material that I've just located.
On Monday I was down at the pallet yard, salvaging the last of the unwanted pallets, when I spotted what I'm hoping may be flowering ivy on top of a boundary wall - and there were dozens of bees there working it - so I took a handful and now have 50-odd cuttings in pots.
Ok - here's a photograph showing: upper left - the common ivy which climbs over just about anything and everything here, given half a chance. Upper right is a sample of some 'creeping ivy' which forms a dense ground cover, but appears to have no interest in climbing up onto anything. Both of these are similar in that their leaves are dark green and have a 'waxy' appearance with pronounced veins. They also produce multiple groups of concentrated roots along their stems, almost like the legs of centipedes - and so grip onto anything which they come into contact with.
In contrast - at the bottom of the above shot is a sample of the stuff I've just found. As you can see it has the same type and colour of flowers as shown on stock photographs of flowering ivy, but - the leaves are different, and the branches/stems don't have the same root development as seen with the others.
So - is this ivy ? Whatever it is, I want to propagate it - so identification would certainly help - as this may be (probably is) completely the wrong time of the year to have taken cuttings.
Would appreciate any help on this one. Thanks