Hedera helix is an invasive species.  Not only is it not native to the United States and North America, but it also takes over wherever it is placed.  Although many see this ability to grow as an advantage, others do whatever they can to keep English Ivy out of most areas due to its destructive way of life.

English Ivy can climb almost any surface, not just trees.  Often times it will climb up the side of buildings if it is planted in an area with few trees to exploit.  Effects on the building differ from the trees in that most buildings go unharmed.  The only way this plant can harm a building is if it somehow gets into the infrastructure.  Ivy can get in through a hole or crack in the building, and once in, it weakens the structure from the inside out.

Even though Hedera helix is generally considered a vine, this plant is actually a climbing shrub.  It grows better in the shade during the juvenile stage because only the reproductive adult phase can tolerate high light conditions.  Berries from this plant are sometimes used for tanning leather and dyeing textiles.  Some people have even used these dyes in their hair!