Terrestrial invasive species

Nature

Most of these invasive plant factsheets are created from the booklet Minnesota invasive non-native terrestrial plants, an identification guide for resource managers.

Check the additional resources and herbicides table for more information.


Creeping Charlie, ground ivy or gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea)


 

Description:

Appearance: Perennial herbaceous plant with creeping square stems (indicates member of the mint family) that grow about 2' long, flowering stems are erect.

Leaves: Opposite, long stalked and bluntly toothed, bright green and shiny with palmate veins.

Flowers: Light blue to bluish-purple, tubular, directed to one side of the stem. They bloom from April to June.

Seeds: Small flat nutlets.

Roots: Roots grow from each leaf node that creeps along the soil surface spreading vegetatively as well.

Ecological Threat:

  • It is not a threat to healthy native plant communities.
  • Ground ivy grows best in semi-shaded to shaded moist soils and forms a dense mat, smothering other vegetation.
  • It is a common urban garden weed and grows mostly in disturbed, degraded places.
  • Ground ivy is found in most of the world of similar climate. It is known to have medicinal properties.

 

Control Methods:

Mechanical

Repeated pulling can control small infestations

Chemical

Spraying with glyphosate will also affect native plants. Selective broadleaf herbicide 2,4-D or dicamba (Banvel) will control it but is hard on trees.

 

Native Substitutes:

Additional Resources