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ivy

ivy, name applied loosely to any trailing or climbing plant, particularly cultivated forms, but more popularly a designation for Hedera helix, the so-called English ivy, and some related species of the family Araliaceae (ginseng family). Native to Europe and temperate Asia, English ivy is a woody evergreen vine, usually sterile, whose berries contain the poisonous principle hederin. Grown in numerous varieties, it is the most popular house and wall vine. The Boston, or Japanese, ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata, of Japan and China) and the American ivy, or Virginia creeper (P. quinquefolia, of North America), are similar species of the family Vitaceae (grape family). Both are sometimes called ampelopsis, a name usually reserved for another related genus. Kenilworth ivy, Cymbalaria muralis, of the family Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) is common to old ruins in Europe; it is often cultivated as a ground cover. Ivy was sacred to Bacchus and was associated with various pagan religions. It was formerly hung as a tavern sign in England. Ivy is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida. The ginseng family ivies are in the order Umbellales, the grape family ivies in the order Rhamnales, and the figwort family ivies in the order Scrophulariales.

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ivy

ivy in classical times, the ivy was sacred to Bacchus (the thyrsus was sometimes wreathed with ivy). A branch or bush of ivy was the traditional sign of a vintner's shop or tavern, giving rise to the expression good wine needs no bush.

Ivy was sometimes regarded as unlucky, and is traditionally opposed to the holly at times of celebration.
Ivy League a group of long-established universities in the eastern US having high academic and social prestige. It includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia. The term refers to the ivy traditionally growing over the walls of these establishments.

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ivy

i·vy / ˈīvē/ • n. a woody evergreen climbing plant (genus Hedera, family Araliaceae), typically having shiny, dark green five-pointed leaves. Several species include the common English ivy (H. helix), often seen climbing on tree trunks and walls. ∎  used in names of similar climbing plants, e.g., poison ivy, Boston ivy.

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ivy

ivy Woody, evergreen vine, native to Europe and Asia. Its long, climbing stems cling to upright surfaces, such as trees or walls, by aerial roots. The common English ivy (Hedera helix) is propagated by cuttings and grows outdoors in moist shady or sunny areas. Family Araliaceae.

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ivy

ivy OE. īfiġ, obscurely rel. to OHG. ebah and the first el. of MLG. iflōf, iwlōf, LG., Du. eilof (enlarged with the word LEAF), and OHG. ebahewi, MHG. ebehöu, ephöu, G. efeu (enlarged with the word HAY); of unkn. orig.

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ivy

ivy See HEDERA.

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ivy

ivynavvy, savvy •ave, Garvey, Harvey, larvae, Mojave •bevvy, bevy, Chevy, heavy, levee, Levi, levy, top-heavy •envy •cavy, Davy, Devi, gravy, navy, slavey, venae cavae, wavy •bivvy, chivvy, civvy, divvy, Livy, privy, skivvy, spivvy •Sylvie • ivy • grovy •groovy, movie •covey, lovey, lovey-dovey, luvvy •anchovy • Muscovy • Pahlavi •curvy, Nervi, nervy, scurvy, topsy-turvy

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Ivy

IVY

IVY (Mishnaic) (Heb. קִיסוֹס, kisos, from the Gr. κισσός), Hedera helix, which grows wild in the forests of Israel. It is mentioned in the Mishnah as a plant occasionally grown in a vineyard (Kil. 5:8). Its dense branches are considered a screen (separation) against uncleanliness (Oho. 8:1). It is probable that it was customary to train various clinging plants, including ivy, upon the walls of permanent sukkot, with the result that the Mishnah lays it down that a sukkah over the roof of which ivy has been trailed is invalid (Suk. 1:4). This may be the source of Plutarch's statement that sukkot were made from the branches of vines and ivy, from which he concluded that the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was merely a feast of *Dionysius, to whom ivy was dedicated (Quaestionum Convivialium, cap. 4: problem 6, 671 d). However, Tacitus (Historia 5:5) had rejected the equation of the feast of Dionysius with Tabernacles, although he remarks that the Jewish priests used to be adorned with ivy wreaths. According to the Book of Maccabees (ii Macc. 6:7; cf. iii Macc. 2:29) Antiochus Epiphanes forced the Jews to wear ivy wreaths in honor of Dionysius on the feast of Bacchus.

bibliography:

Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 219–21; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 142.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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