Glechoma hederacea L.
Glechoma hederacea L. var. micrantha Moric.
Glechoma hederacea L. var. parviflora (Benth.) House
Nepeta hederacea (L.) Trevis.
Ground-ivy, Ground Ivy
Ground-ivy is not a North American native, but after its introduction from Europe and southwestern Asia, it has become widespread. It is a member of the mint family.
Identification: Ground-ivy has round or kidney-shaped leaves with scalloped edges, ⅜-1¼" (9.5-31 mm) in diameter, attached in opposing pairs to a stem that is roughly square in cross-section. Often only 3" (7.6 cm) tall, it sometimes reaches 12" (30 cm). Flowers are blue, purple, or lavender, occurring in groups of 3. The flower shape is unusual. A small upper petal is divided into two lobes. A larger lower petal has a lobe on either side, and a large bottom lobe that is divided into two more lobes. Each flower is ⅜-½" (9.5-12 mm) across. These plants commonly appear in lawns, and have a strong scent when crushed.
Some similar species:
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|Plant||Forms loose mats. Plants are 6-9" (15-22 cm) in height.||Often only 3" (7.6 cm) tall, it sometimes reaches 12" (30 cm). Extends horizontally, hence the term “ivy.”||4-16" (10-40 cm) high, and somewhat hairy.|
|Flowers||Blue, appearing from May to Jun.||Flowers are blue, purple, or lavender, occurring in groups of 3. The flower shape is unusual. A small upper petal is divided into two lobes. A larger lower petal has a lobe on either side, and a large bottom lobe that is divided into two more lobes. Each flower is ⅜-½" (9.5-12 mm) across.||Flowers are ¼-¾" (6.3-19 mm), appearing from Mar to Oct. They are pink to red to purple in color.|
|Leaves||Dark green with purple highlights, opposite, and simple, sometimes toothed.||Round or kidney-shaped, with scalloped edges, ⅜-1¼" (9.5-31 mm) in diameter.||Toothed, round or kidney-shaped, deeply and irregularly veined, and ¼-1¼" (6.3-31 mm). Each stem node has two opposite leaves, and each succeeded pair is rotated 90° from the last. Upper, younger leaves often have a red-violet tinge.|
|Stem||Square in cross-section.||Stems are 4-angled and glabrous.|
USDA Zones: 3-10
|Habitats||Damp grassy fields, damp woods.||Moist ground, woods, slopes, roadsides, waste places, lawns||Fields, weedy places, gardens.|
Glechoma hederacea on Missouriplants.com
Glechoma hederacea on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Glechoma hederacea on Wikipedia
Glechoma hederacea on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Glechoma hederacea at Illinois Wildflowers
Glechoma hederacea at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
Glechoma hederacea on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 50
Glechoma hederacea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Jun 2017.