GROUND-IVY

ALE HOOF

Glechoma hederacea

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8blue
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ2
 
stem
stem8square
 
smell
smell8pungent smell8awful smell8strong
pungent

28th April 2010, Aston on Clun, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Can be a low sprawling plant, with leaves hidden by other plants.


28th April 2010, Aston on Clun, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Or can stand up a short way. Has similar leaves to those of Red Dead-Nettle, but which do not tend to go reddish, but rather reddish-brown.


16th April 2009, Great Mitton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are green at first, only turning reddish-brown in response to strong sunlight.


19th April 2014, Copster Green, nr Wilpshire, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Ground-Ivy does seem to like growing on moss, here atop a dry-stone wall, although it will get irradiated more by the Sun in this spot.


7th June 2005, Sefton Coast Path, Hightown, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Leaves kidney-shaped, with very rounded teeth and criss-crossed in curving veins. Flowers in small one-sided whorls. Whole plant covered in short hairs.


16th April 2009, Great Mitton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers blue to violet, with purple striations in the deep throat. Young leaves not fully opened.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers a perhaps Orchid shaped with a lower lip slightly split into two skirts, Two winged arms, and a hood. Throat has long hairs.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Embossed white mark in the shape of a lower-case 'x' on inside of upper hood.


28th April 2010, Aston on Clun, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Stem square and hairy. Leaves in opposite pairs on longish stems. Flowers emerge from green to reddish sepal tubes.


23rd April 2011, Southport Dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


23rd April 2011, Southport Dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Sepal tubes are hairy and have curved teeth ending in a prickle. Flower has purple marks on conical part.


23rd April 2011, Southport Dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves kidney-shaped, hairy both sides, with well-rounded teeth and criss-crossed in curving veins.


No relation to : Ground-Elder, Ground-pine, Groundsel, Ivy, Boston Ivy, German Ivy, Persian Ivy, Atlantic Ivy, Ivy-Broomrape, Ivy-leaved Crowfoot, Ivy-leaved Duckweed, Ivy-leaved Bellflower or Ivy-leaved Toadflax [plants with similar names]

Some similarities to plants belonging to the same Dead-nettle Family: Bugle (but Bugle grows taller, with many more tiers of flowers and Ground-Ivy has flowers that are more purplish-blue), Pyramidal Bugle, Skullcap and Basil Thyme in that the flowers are similarly blue with two lips and grow less than a foot high.

Slight resemblance to other plants belonging to the same Dead-nettle Family: Meadow Clary, Balkan Clary, Wild ClaryClary and Meadow Clary and to Clary which have similarly shaped blue flowers but these plants are much taller than any of the previous lot.

Superficial resemblance to : Selfheal. It has a similar height to Red Dead-Nettle and its leaves are similarly toothed and rounded, but Red Dead-nettle has pink flowers and reddish leaves, whereas Ground-Ivy has blue flowers and leaves which may turn reddish-brown rather than red.

Despite its name, it is not a type of Ivy, it just spreads, a bit like Ivy does, with long rooting runners.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Ground-Ivy was once used as the principle bittering agent in the making of beer, which is why it came to be known as 'Ale hoof'. It is still widely used as a tonic in herbal teas.


  Glechoma hederacea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Mint / Dead-Nettle family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Glechoma
Glechoma
(Ground-Ivy)

GROUND-IVY

ALE HOOF

Glechoma hederacea

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]

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