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Alehoffs Glechoma hederacea

Previously known as:

  • Nepeta glechom
  • Nepeta hederacea
Phonetic Spelling
gle-KOH-muh hed-er-AYE-see-uh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Glechoma hederacea, or Ground ivy, is an invasive perennial in the mint family.  This aromatic, evergreen, creeper was introduced from Europe and can be quite weedy. It is often found on roadsides, lawns, shady spots, waste places, and thickets. Ground Ivy stems are creepers that help the plant spread. It usually grows to 1 foot or less, branching frequently and forming a low-growing mat of stems and leaves across the ground. When the plant flowers in early spring and summer, a stem grows upright to produce flowers. After blooming, the upright stem arches down and creeps along the surface, up to 30 inches, to form new roots at the nodes. 

Ground ivy prefers partial sun, moist conditions, and fertile loamy soil in an open situation where there is little ground cover. It spreads aggressively and is difficult to destroy without resorting to herbicides. During hot summer weather, it has a tendency to become dormant.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insects problems. It tends to be invasive and is hard to eradicate.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#invasive#weeds#weedy#spreading#perennial weeds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#invasive#weeds#weedy#spreading#perennial weeds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Glechoma
    Species:
    hederacea
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Before the discovery of hops, Ground ivy was used in brewing beer. Has been used as a medicinal plant for cleansing of lungs, kidneys, stomach, and bowels by herbalists.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Russian Far East and China
    Distribution:
    Canada and all the United States except for New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides sping-time nector to long tongued bees and other polinators. Can be an attractive gound cover.
    Edibility:
    Toxic to horses. Leaves are edible by humans. Can be used to create a medicinal tea or used in soups, jams and other dishes.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Upon maturity, each flower is replaced by 4 dark brown nutlets. Each nutlet is ovoid, with 2 flat sides and an outer side that is rounded.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Three to seven blue-violet, half inch, tubular shaped flowers in whorls in leaf axis; corolla is two-lipped; lower lip has three lobes. Clusters of flowers develop from the leaf axils. The corolla of each flower is narrow at the base, but flares outward like a trumpet into spreading lobes. There is a notched upper lobe, a notched lower lobe, and 2 smaller side lobes. The lower lobe is larger than the others and functions as a landing pad for visiting insects. It has darker violet lines that function as nectar guides. Within the throat of the corolla, there are fuzzy hairs. Each flower has a single pistil with a divided style, 2 long stamens, and 2 short stamens. The pubescent calyx is about 1/3 the length of the tubular corolla, with 15 veins running along its length and 5 teeth along its outer edge.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Half to 1 1/2 inch long and wide, green leaves. Scalloped edges, round to kidney-shaped with heart-shaped leaves at base. Leaf produces aromatic aroma when crushed. There is a flat indentation where the long petiole joins the base of a leaf. The pubescent upper surface has conspicuous palmate venation.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The 4-angled stems are prostrate to slightly ascending, and often form rootlets near the axils of the leaves when they touch the ground.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy