Italian Word of the Day: Edera (ivy)

Ivy, which is known as edera in Italian, is an evergreen climbing plant (pianta rampicante) that thrives on walls, rocks and trees. The name comes from the Latin hedera.

Italian word for ivy, edera

Edera is a feminine noun starting with a vowel, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

  • l’edera = the ivy
  • le edere = the ivies
  • un’edera = an ivy
  • delle edere = (some) ivies

Edera velenosa is what Italians call poison ivy. Despite its common name, this plant actually isn’t a true ivy, but rather a member of the cashew (anacardo) and pistachio (pistacchio) family!

In Cina c’è un villaggio abbandonato totalmente ricoperto di edera.

In China there is an abandoned village completely covered with ivy.

Ivy on textured bark with light in background in close up. Creeper plat growing on trunk with sunlight in detail. Evergreen leaves on tree.
L’edera che si avvinghia all’albero = Ivy clinging to the tree

If you say that something is avvinto come l’edera (clinging like ivy), the suggestion is that it is tenacious and long-lasting. Attaccarsi come l’edera (lit. to stick like ivy) is a variation that can also refer to a person who is difficult to get rid of, or a person who grows fond of somebody else.

Il partito dell’edera (lit. the Ivy Party) is the name of the Italian Republican Party, which has an ivy leaf as its symbol.

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