Gloire de Marengo ivy was previously sold as 'variegata' and is sometimes labeled Hedera algeriensis as it originates from both the Canary Islands and the Atlantic coast of northern Africa. It has excellent, large, strong and glossy variegated leaves that are, perhaps, the brightest of the variegated ivies and will light up dark corners. It has black berries from fairly insignificant flowers that do, however, provide food for bees and other insects in the summer and food and shelter for birds in autumn and winter. It is a very vigorous climber, liking a moisture retentive and alkaline soil.
Great for your garden:
Hedera canariensis Gloire de Marengo is an excellent plant for growing in difficult areas - covering unsightly buildings, disguising sheds and fences, screening and even as ground cover in shade or to secure steep banks and slopes. It prefers well-drained moist alkaline soil and, if given the right conditions, will reach a height and spread of 2.5m to 4m.
It is self-clinging and will happily climb into a strong tree providing good nesting sites for birds and food and shelter for a wide variety of creatures. Grow it in your garden to bring light to shaded areas.
Look out for:
Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' has leaves that can be an irritant and all parts of the plant are toxic and will cause stomach cramps. It can suffer wind damage. There may well be damage from caterpillars and other leaf-eating insects but they will all be friendly and will, in turn, provide food for birds. The plant may well need controlling and can be pruned at any time of the year. Very occasionally it may suffer from blackspot but this is rare.
It was thought, until recently, that there was only one Ivy, Hedera Helix, but this has now been disproved and, although all coming from a common ancestor, there are several species.
The common ancestor is a survivor of the European Laurel Forests of the Mediterranean basin that died out when the climate became drier and harsher 10,000 years ago. It is considered probable that the various species grew from seed spread by birds.