The Araliaceae form a cosmopolitan family which is distributed throughout\ud the world with the exception of North Africa, the Middle East and large parts\ud of the U.S.S.R. It comprises 70 genera with ca. 700 species. The only representative\ud in Western Europe is Hedera helix L., a member of a genus with\ud five other species in other parts of the world.\ud Hedera helix is common throughout Western Europe on a wide range of\ud soils although it avoids extremes of acidity, drought and waterlogging. In\ud Scandinavia it extends to about 60°N on the west coast of Norway and has a\ud strongly coastal emphasis in its distribution. It does not extend into the continental\ud mainland east of the Baltic and north of the Black Sea. It is regarded\ud by Hultén as sub-Atlantic, but by Troll as eu-Atlantic. It not\ud only grows under wild conditions, but is also widely cultivated.\ud Pollen of Hedera helix is regularly found in deposits of Atlantic and Subboreal\ud age. It is significant for Quaternary palynologists as an indicator of\ud comparatively high winter temperatures
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