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Image of Knobbley's Bark

Ground Ivy
Glechoma hederacea

Photo of woodland floor covered in ground ivy
Creeping over woodland floors with violet flowers  in Spring

NAME
Unlike the implications of the name the Ground ivy belongs to the mint family (Labiatae).

HABITAT
hedges, woods and grassy places, usually damp soil.

DESCRIPTION GENERAL
Many members of the mint family look the same. Ground-ivy can be distinguished by having only 2-4 flowers in each whorl and the top petal-lobe being flat, not hooded.
Type - perennial
Height - 100-500mm
Flowers - March-May

FLOWERS
Close up of a Ground Ivy FlowerFlowers - clusters of 2-4 towards stem-tips, directed to one side
Bracts - resembling leaves
Type - hermaphrodite or sometimes female
Size - 15-22mm
Colour - bluish-violet, spotted reddish purple
Stalk - much shorter than flower
Petals - 5, 15-22mm, bases joined. upper two lobes nearly joined, hood-like, lower three larger

STEMS, LEAVES and ROOTS
Stem - creeping, rooting, angled upwards to flower
Hairs - soft, fairly long
Stipules - absent

Leaves - paired on stem, 5-35mm kidney-shaped to nearly oval, blunt, coarsely-toothed, base heart-shaped

Root - fibrous, stems root at intervals

FLOWER CLOSE UP
Stamens - 4, under petal lobes
Stigmas - 2; on long, forked style
Sepals - 5, 5-6.5mm, bases joined, teeth nearly equal, pointed
Ovary - 1, deeply 4-lobed

FRUIT
Type - splits into 4 nut-like parts, egg-shaped, smooth

Size - 2-3mm
Seeds - 1 per segment, not released

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