Ivies have two leaf types, with palmately 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 faces. The juvenile and adult shoots also differ, the former being slender, flexible and scrambling or climbing with small roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark), the latter thicker, self-supporting, and without roots.
Ivy and vines are living, growing, and moving organisms that attach by twining, aerial roots, and/or tendrils to other plants or static surfaces and objects. On a building, this can result in displacement of building parts, materials or surfaces. When climbing by twining around objects, the diameter of the vine's stems or trunks increase with maturity. This can constrict another plant, often the host, sometimes killing it, or damage objects, or otherwise just create an attractive and living sculpture.