Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea)
Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea)

Ground Ivy

By William T. Hathaway

What is that little creeping plant with wavy-margined, roundish leaves that often completely cover large patches of ground along roadsides and yards? The small purple flowers are somewhat hidden among the leafy flowering stems that may reach a bit over 6 inches high. Ground Ivy, also called Gill-over-the-ground, is commonly seen from late March until early July. After the little blossoms have faded away the flat canopy of leaves may dominate the site for a short period of time.

This species (Glecoma hederacea) is an introduction from Europe. It spreads rapidly from rooting nodes and is considered a weed of gardens and lawns. Occasionally it can be seen happily adapted to damp, shaded places.

See also a larger rendition of the photo. The drawing at lower right was created for the purpose of a clearer printed rendition in the 2004 newspaper article.