Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' care

Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' is arguably the most spectacular of all ivy species and cultivated varieties. Named in honour of the Battle of Marengo (the victory which sealed the success of Napoleon's Italian campaign of 1800), it is a popular, variegated, evergreen climbing plant.

There is some confusion regarding this particular ivy due to the number of indicated origins suggested by its various common and species names. The parent species Hedera canariensis (commonly known as the Canarian Ivy) is native to the Atlantic coast most notably the Canary islands and northern Africa. However this species name has been superseded and it should now be called Hedera algeriensis - the Algerian Ivy. Regarding the 'Gloire de Marengo' cultivar name, Marengo is is a town in Piedmont, Italy. That being said there are those within the scientific community who do not believe that it is a genuine species in its own right and is instead a variety of the humble Hedera helix.

Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' 
In its native habitat Hedera canariensis can grow as large as 20–30 m high, however Hedera 'Gloire de Marengo' is more constrained reaching approximately 4 m in northern European gardens. As both a garden specimen and houseplant, it is valued for its attractive and colourful form.

Its large, three-lobed leaves are 10 to 13 cm long and triangular shaped on smooth, deep red leaf stalks. They are deep green in the centre which merge into a silvery-grey, surrounded by a white margin. When young, the stems and leaves are covered with thick brown felt.

Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' is suitable for planting in full sun to partial shade, although the silver-variegated leaves will actually brighten up under partial shade. To perform at its best plant in a well-drained, alkaline soil. It is not as drought hardy as Hedera helix so water as necessary during hot weather and periods of low rainfall. Neither is as hardy as the original species and so will require the protection of a sheltered south or west facing wall.

Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo' received the following awards from The Royal Horticultural Society.

The First Class Certificate (FCC) in 1880
The Award of Merit after trials (AMT) in 1979
The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1984

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