Where can I find a history of ivy, Hedera helix, in the United States?
History in your garden: Ivy (Hedera helix) We think of common ivy, Hedera helix, as a symbol of death or gloom, but to the ancient Greeks it was the emblem of Thalia, the muse of comedy, and the Dionysian priestesses carried staves entwined with ivy during sacrificial rites. It has always been a plant of superstition. Growing ivy against the side of a house was thought to keep witches away. Plant of superstition: Ivy has been the subject of strange traditions since the ancient Greeks On New Year’s Eve, ivy would be placed in a bowl of water and left until Twelfth Night. If the leaf remained fresh, then a happy year would follow. But if black spots appeared near the base, this presaged problems with feet, and any marks near the stem were signs of head problems. Although the ancient Greeks thought that it prevented drunkenness, a bunch of ivy on a pole was one of the first Inn signs. Perhaps it implied that people could drink more without becoming drunk. Sources: