Pearl Snaps

Stories of a cowgirl living life by her own lights

Weedy Wednesday: Ground Ivy

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Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea L.), also known as creeping Charlie, is a perennial broadleaf weed with long, creeping, square stems that root at the nodes and form dense prostrate patches.  The foliage emits a strong mint-like odor when bruised, uprooted, or mowed.  This weed is most common throughout the northeastern and north-central United States but also found in the southern states.  Ground ivy is a common weed of turfgrass and landscapes as well as perennial fruit crops.  It is most commonly found in damp shady areas but can tolerate full sunlight.

Ground ivy reproduces primarily by creeping stems that root at the node, but also less commonly by seeds.  Infestations occur primarily by encroachment of vegetative fragments from adjacent areas.  Fibrous roots are produced at the base of the plant and from nodes on trailing stems.  Ground ivy also produces rhizomes.

Similar species to ground ivy include slender speedwell, henbit, and common mallow.  Ground ivy looks similar to slender speedwell when the leaf size is reduced, as occurs under stress or with close mowing.  But it has square stems, unlike the round stems of slender speedwell.  Although henbit can sometimes resemble ground ivy, its stems do not creep along the ground or root at the nodes.  The leaf shape of ground ivy leads to confusion with common mallow, but common mallow has alternate leaves, pointed teeth, and rounded stems.

For more information visit the following links:

Resource:  Uva, Richard H., Joseph C. Neal, and Joseph M. DiTomaso. Weeds of the Northeast. Ithaca: Comstock Pub. Associates, 1997. Print.

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