Ivies have two leaf types, with palmately lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the top of rock faces, from 2 metres or more above ground. The juvenile and adult shoots also differ, the former being slender, flexible and scrambling or climbing with small aerial roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark), the latter thicker, self-supporting, and without roots. The flowers are greenish-yellow with five small petals; they are produced in umbels in autumn to early winter, and are very rich in nectar. The fruit is a greenish-black, dark purple, or in a few rare cases yellow. The berry is 5–10 mm in diameter with one to five seeds, ripening in late winter to mid spring; the seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the berries.
Ivy is able to thrive and grow in almost all environments, it is extremely strong and is very difficult to destroy. Its stalks grow in what appears a helix and therefore represents the growing spiral of self enlightenment that was sacred to the Celts. It symbolizes the soul and its journeys both inner and outer on its search for nourishment.