Ground Ivy

Glechoma hederaceae

Common Name: Ground ivy (Gill-over-the-ground, Creeping Charlie, Cats-foot, Field balm)
Scientific Name: Glechoma hederaceae
Family: Lamiaceae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe
Invasive Range: Northeastern, north-central, and southern United States
Introduction: Ground ivy was brought by European settlers for medicinal value.  It spreads most often by its creeping stems, but can also be spread through seed dispersal. 
Description: ·Leaves: Round, kidney or heart shaped.  1-4 cm (.5-2 in.) in diameter.  Attached to long (3-5 cm, 1.5- 2.5 in.) petioles, horizontally oriented from stem. Opposite. Roundly toothed. Smells of mint when crushed or mown.

·Stem: Square and smooth.  Can have short stiff hairs.  Creeps along the ground. From 20-75 cm (18-35 in.) in length.  

·Flowers: Appear between April and June on vertical stems.  Purple-blue, funnel shaped, 1-2 cm (.5-1 in.) long.  Clusters of 2-3. 

·Fruit: Smooth, brown.  Shaped like egg with two flattened sides.  Less than 1mm long. 
Threats: Interrupts ground cover.  Disliked by landscapers.
Fun Facts: The medicinal value of Ground ivy has been recorded from antiquity.  It has been used to treat inflamed eyes, ringing ears, kidney disease, and indigestion.  It was also used by the Saxons to clarify beer, before the introduction of hops. 
English ivy on a tree
English ivy taking over a tree
Ground cover
Ground ivy ground cover