Med Plant Data Base


Moldo-german project 10.820.09.09GA
ЂEvaluation of the pharmaceutic potential
of medicinal plants from natural habitats from Republic of Moldova


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Hedera helix

KINGDOM: Plantae » Class: Magnoliopsida » Order:Araliales » Family:Araliaceae

Hedera helix
Ivy is very variable in life
form: it may be a perennial herbaceous vine or climber, a herb, a woody
subshrub, or rarely a tree. Woody stems may grow vertically up tree trunks,
cliffs and walls, or grow horizontally on the woodland floor to form a continuous
carpet Ц this capacity to extend over soil-less habitats from a base rooted
in soil is unique in the British flora. Only the vertical stems bear
reproductive shoots, which are physiologically adult and bear large, spirally
arranged, radially symmetrical ovate leaves. Juvenile plants or parts of
plants bear alternately arranged, palmately lobed shade-leaves, and it is
typically this growth phase that produces adventitious roots. The natural
switch in morphogenesis from juvenile to adult phase is a consequence of
differential DNA replication, resulting in changes to both the quality
(through heterochromatin under-replication) and quantity (through
polyploidization) of DNA expressed in adult tissue; artificial application of
auxin may also promote flowering in juvenile forms. Mature-leaf forms may be
forced to revert to juvenile forms with gibberellic acid, or through cold
shock or X-ray irradiation. Reversal may also occur naturally in low light
and high temperatures, and cuttings from the adult phase may revert to
juvenile phase.

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