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Glechoma hederacea - L.

Common Name Ground Ivy, Field Balm, Gill Over The Ground, Runaway Robin
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 3-10
Known Hazards A report in the medicinal uses says the plant should be used with caution, no reason is given. Another report says that the plant might be toxic to horses[222]. Avoid if pregnant as abortifacient. Contraindicated in epilepsy. Avoid if kidney disease [301].
Habitats Damp waste ground, hedgerows and woodland margins[7].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, northern and western Asia to Japan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy, Field Balm, Gill Over The Ground, Runaway Robin


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Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy, Field Balm, Gill Over The Ground, Runaway Robin
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Summary

Bloom Color: Lavender. Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Prostrate, Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Glechoma hederacea is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from March to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Nepeta glechoma. N. hederacea. Calamintha hederacea. Chamaecissos hederaceus.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Young leaves - raw or cooked[9]. The leaves have a bitter flavour[5], they can be mixed into salads to add a slight aromatic tang[7]. They can also be cooked like spinach, added to soups etc or used as a flavouring[2, 183]. Available very early in the year. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[2, 177, 183]. It is often used mixed with verbena leaves[7]. The herb has been added to beer in much the same way as hops in order to clear it and also to improve its flavour and keeping qualities[4, 183]. This species was the most common flavouring in beer prior to the use of hops from the 16th century onwards[238].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antidiarrhoeal  Antiphlogistic  Antirheumatic  Appetizer  Astringent  Digestive  Diuretic  
Febrifuge  Miscellany  Pectoral  Stimulant  Tonic  Vermifuge

Ground ivy is a safe and effective herb that is used to treat many problems involving the mucous membranes of the ear, nose, throat and digestive system[254]. A well-tolerated treatment it can be given to children to clear lingering catarrh and to treat chronic conditions such as glue ear and sinusitis[254]. Throat and chest problems, especially those due to excess catarrh, also benefit from this remedy[254]. The leaves and flowering stems are anodyne, antiphlogistic, appetizer, astringent, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, pectoral, gently stimulant, tonic and vermifuge[4, 9, 21, 100, 147, 165, 178]. They are best harvested in May whilst still fresh[4], and are dried for later use[238]. The leaves are used in the treatment of hypersensitivity in children and are useful in the treatment of kidney diseases and indigestion[4, 9, 21, 100, 147, 165, 178]. Applied externally, the expressed juice speeds the healing of bruises and black eyes[4]. Use with caution[21].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Miscellany

A good ground cover plant for shady places. It is rather vigorous though and can swamp smaller plants[197].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest  Ground cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover. Prefers a heavy soil and dappled shade[17, 31]. Prefers a moist well-drained soil, succeeding in sun or shade[188]. A very invasive plant, spreading freely at the roots[1, 31, 238]. A good bee plant[108]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attractive flowers or blooms. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ as soon as it is ripe, or in the spring. Division in spring or autumn[188]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ground Ivy, Field Balm, Gill Over The Ground, Runaway Robin

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Botanical References

17

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Subject : Glechoma hederacea  
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