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Ground Ivy

Ground IvyGround Ivy patch in bloomPlant Description: Ground ivy is a perennial with creeping stems that sprawl over the soil surface forming a thick mat and crowding out other plants. Ground ivy has a typical mint-like appearance with square stems and 2 leaves at each node. It can be distinguished by its sprawling growth, kidney-shaped leaves that have scalloped edges and attach to stems by way of long leaf stalks (petioles), and purplish-blue flowers located in whorls of 2 to 6 in leaf axils on short, upright stalks. It emits a somewhat disagreeable minty odor when crushed. Although the plant produces seeds, the principle method of reproduction is vegetative by way of creeping stems. Roots are shallow, fibrous, and form at the base and at leaf nodes on the stem.

Ground Ivy seedlingGround ivy produces numerous slender stems that creep along the soil surface growing up to 30 inches long and forming a tangled mat. At the axils of stems are hairy, upright flower stalks that generally do not grow more than 8 inches tall. Also roots form at nearly every node. Leaves are opposite (2 leaves per node), 1/2 to 1 inch wide, round to kidney-shaped, and have scalloped edges. When growing in partial shade, leaves are usually deep green, but they may be reddish if located in full sun. Ground IvyVisible on leaves are veins that radiate outward from a common point like fingers. Leaves attach to stems by way of long petioles. Flowers are 1/2 to 1 inch long and purplish-blue.  Flowers bloom from March through June. It is impossible to remove ground ivy by digging. Applying herbicides may kill established plants, but new plants will germinate from seeds stored in the soil.

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