Rock Ivy ~ Plant Badge of the Gordon Clan
Rock Ivy is a most appropriate plant badge for the Gordons
as it is well know for its ability to overwhelm anything and
everything around it. In the Celtic calendar it was the sacred
wood of the 11th month (Sept 30th- Oct 27th) and
interestingly the Ogham assigned as its code was Gort, the
Ivy grows along the ground, up trees, walls, rocks and can
overcome any obstacle in its growth path. It was valued
anciently for its tenacity, It was a symbol of strength and
determination due to its virtual indestructibility being able to
recoup from even the worst damage and quickly regrow from
just a small root piece. Its roots were considered ancient and
its vibrant evergreen leaves indicated its everlasting nature,
the five points on the lower leaves signifying unity of the
elements with one bonding energy...a strong symbol of
protection. Its propensity to interweave in its growth and
connect the ground, the rocks, and the trees spiraling up to
the open sky came to symbolize the stubborn and enduring
connection of friends and family, and also of an implacable
enemy able to strangle out even the mightiest of trees; it
became known as a plant of death, rebirth, fertility, good
luck, connection and protection.
All of these attributes accurately portray those of the Gordon
Clan! What better plant to choose for our plant badge.
Rock Ivy (hedera helix) is an evergreen climbing plant,
growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) high where suitable surfaces
(trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as ground
cover where there are no vertical surfaces. It climbs by
means of aerial rootlets with matted pads which cling strongly
to the substrate.
The leaves are alternate, 50–100 mm long, with a 15–20 mm
petiole; they are of two types, with palmately five-lobed
juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed
cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full
sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the top of rock
The flowers are produced from late summer until late autumn, individually small, in 3–5 cm diameter umbels, greenish-
yellow, and very rich in nectar, an important late autumn food source for bees and other insects.
The fruit are purple-black to orange-yellow berries 6–8 mm diameter, ripening in late winter, and are an important
food for many birds, though somewhat poisonous to humans. There are one to five seeds in each berry, which are
dispersed by birds eating the berries.