Tiny Flowers | Creeping Charlie

This tiny 1/4″ flower reminds me of an iris. It is actually from an ivy plant called Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea). It goes by many names: ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin to name a few. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, it is not native to North America. But, it is widespread. It is actually native to Europe and SE Asia.

It has medicinal uses, is edible, and was used to make beer in Saxony before hops were introduced. Try it yourself to make a brew of Creeper 2013. It can be part of cheese making substituted for rennet.

Dennis Profant | http://fieldbioinohio.blogspot.com/ | Used with permission

It is an attractive ground ivy with gently scalloped leaves. It is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It doesn’t climb up. Instead, it propagates horizontally along the ground. This vine in the center is about 6″ long and is near the edge of my lawn.

Unfortunately, it is quite invasive and can take over spaces from other plants. Here it tries to make headway into my lawn grass. It weaves its way several feet in through the grass setting down rhizomes every few inches. It can be pulled out. But, it is tedious to remove.

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15 thoughts on “Tiny Flowers | Creeping Charlie

  1. OceanDiver

    Very pretty little flower. Love mints, their various shades of mostly purple. Seems a benign intruder in your lawn. If it were to take over entirely, might it making mowing unnecessary? 😉

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    1. Jim in IA Post author

      My lawn is pretty healthy. It never travels more than a couple of feet in from the border. I don’t mind it much.

      The last two years, we had no rain from June on to late Sept. I barely mowed. This year seems different. I do prefer some rain.

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  2. Steve Gingold

    We comment on a couple of the same blogs so I thought I’d stop by, Jim. Despite its invasive quality I like Creeping Charlie quite a bit. It uses our foundation for a few inches of support, provides ground cover…for good or bad…around our blueberries and pretty much goes where it chooses. Fortunately it is also pretty easy to pull up when we wish albeit there is a lot to pull. I love its soft blue when fresh.

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    1. Jim in IA Post author

      Thanks for stopping by with your comments. I’m with you about the plant. As long as it stays on the periphery of my yard, it is fine. It seldom comes more than two feet in. And it is only out back near the wooded area.

      I looked around at your blog and decided to follow. You offer attractive photographs and viewpoints. The posts will be welcome to help make the world a bit more pleasant. I like your photo on the about page in front of the water fall. Was it with a self-timer?

      Take care and stop by any time.

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      1. Steve Gingold

        Hi Jim. I’ll be following you also. I am glad that you enjoy the images on my blog and thanks for following me. I try to keep things light-hearted. Otherwise the world creeps a little further in and it is already too overwhelming.
        Yes, that was a self-timed shot. I had to try several and then remind myself to smile which is something I always forget. I now have a pocket remote which I used for the
        gravatar image. Much less running around.
        The Creeping Charlie/Gill o’er the Ground is everywhere around the house so we just decided to embrace it. It is also the foil for one of my favorite fungus images. http://stephengingoldphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Fungi-and-Related/G0000Z1jwRFQjPE0/I0000LGP3I6Dalyg
        The edge of the yard is fairly full of Selfheal/Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) which gets mowed often.

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        1. Jim in IA Post author

          They framed the fungus perfectly.

          I don’t think I’ve ever seen Prunella. Sounds like a character from a Disney movie. No, that was Cruella. 🙂

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