Ground Ivy

Glechoma hederacea

Ground Ivy is a perennial broadleaf weed that is also referred to as Nepeta hederacea, Creeping Charlie, Gill-over-the-ground, Cats-foot and Field Balm. Its scientific name is Glechoma hederacea.








Ground Ivy can be identified by its long, creeping square stems that root at the nodes (this characteristic distinguishes Ground Ivy from the similar-looking broadleaf weed Common Mallow). These stems are lax and mostly smooth, though short, stiff hairs may be present. Ground Ivy blades are prominently palmately veined, and all its foliage emits a strong mint-like odor when bruised, uprooted or mowed. In bloom, Ground Ivy features bluish-lavender-colored, funnel-shaped flowers that are located near the tip of the stem and typically grow in clusters. It usually flowers in the spring.

Life Cycle

This broadleaf weed prefers moist, well-shaded areas, but it can also tolerate full sunlight. It thrives throughout the continental United States, though it is more common in the East.

Life Cycle Image


Glechoma hederacea is an extremely aggressive broadleaf weed that can quickly overcome grass with its creeping stems and roots. Cultural control practices such as mowing and manual removal can limit Ground Ivy however, these practices are unlikely to eliminate the weed completely.


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