With baseball season well underway, let’s take a minute to learn some history about possibly the most famous plant in Chicago, the Wrigley Field ivy! Planted against the outfield wall in 1937, the Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a flowering plant in the grape family, native to Japan, Korea, and China. The plant is described as a deciduous woody vine that grows up to 30 meters tall or even more if given suitable support, attaching by small branched tendrils.
The Boston ivy not only enhances the look of the stadium but also is an attempt to cushion the hard, brick wall. This stadium flora also calls for new rules in the game to address the issue of losing the ball in the ivy. If this happens, the outfielder must raise his hands signaling to the umpire that he cannot find the ball, and the umpire can grant the ground double rule. If the outfielder makes an attempt to retrieve the ball from the ivy, the rule cannot be granted.
Wrigley Field is so identified with its ivy that fans occasionally try and steal it! The Cubs, a long time Expressway Partner, recently celebrated Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary. Check out this video for more history and information on Chicago’s favorite plant!