During the developement of higher plants from seed,there are changes in their phenotypic characteristics.These changes in phenotypic characteristics are referred to as phasic developement or phase change.Those characteristics associated with competence for reproductive developement are referred to as adult or mature and those associated with vegetative growth are referred to as juvenile.The characteristics that change during phasic developement are not necessarily consistent from species to species.However, phase specific accumulation of anthocyanins in stem and leaf tissue has been observed in a number of genera and species. This paper will present experimental evidence for the anatomical,biochemical and molecular bases for phase specific accumulation of anthocyanin in Hedera helix,a temperate zone vine species.The relationship of phase specific anthocyanin accumulation with other physiological and anatomical characteristics and the possible functional significance of accumulation will be discussed.The possible functional significance of phase specific anthocyanin accumulation in other species will also be discussed.

Key words: Hedera helix, juvenility, maturation, phase change