Glechoma hederacea L.

2651 (1). G. hederacea L. Sp. Pl., ed. 1 (1753) 578; Hayek Prodr. Fi. Penins. Balc., II (1929) 262; Fernandes, Fl. Eur., III (1972) 161 - Бръшлянова самобайка

Fam:   Labiatae Juss. (Lamiaceae)
Genus:   Glechoma L.
Species: Glechoma hederacea L.
English Name: Ground-ivy, Gill-over-the-ground,  Creeping charlie, Alehoof, Tunhoof, Catsfoot, Field balm, and run-away-robin.[1] It is also sometimes known as Creeping jenny


Perennial plant almost nude or mossy, rarely with short hairs. Flowering stems 15 - 50 (60) cm high, elevated or upright; sterile stems creeping, rooted in the nodes. Leaves 4 - 35 (-80) mm long and 6 - 40 (-80) mm wide, kidney, rounded kidney to almost rounded or broadly ovate to triangular oval with heartbeat base, blunt, end uneven dull jagged; the lower leaves with 2 - 5 cm long stems, the middle and the upper with shorter stems, almost the length of the lamina; all leaves above dark green, more or less shiny, bright green below, sometimes violet-colored and dotted glands. Bristles 1 - 1.5 mm long, bristly, shorter than blossom stems. Blossoms in 2- to 5- flower vertebrae, located in the bosom of the middle and upper stem leaves. The calyx 5 - 6.5 mm long, narrow cylindrical to tubular bell-shaped, two-mouth with short hairs or moss, and sometimes with seated yellow glands; the teeth are triangular, at the top suddenly beautifully pointed, the upper 3 to 4 times shorter than the tube, sometimes violet-colored. The wreath (6) 15 - 25 mm long, 2 to 4 times longer than calyx, pale to blue-violet with reddish blotch on the lower lip, rarely white or pink, naked or with rare hairs; the tube at the top expanded; the upper lip flat, deeply split; lower lip longer, 3-part larger than lateral, back ovarian 2-part median. The stamens naked, hidden beneath the upper lip. The walnuts slightly longer than the upper lip. Walnuts are elliptical, about 2 mm long, smooth, brown.


Var. hederacea. The middle and upper stem leaves are wider than long. The crown (6-) 10 - 20 mm long. Distributed.
F. hederacea. Nepeta glechoma L. typica Beck, Fl. Nieder. - Österr., II (1893) 1003. The crown 15 - 20 mm long. Distributed.
F. micrantha (Bonningh.) Rouy, Fl. Fr., XI (1909) 271; G. micrantha Bönningh. ap. Reichenb., Fl. Germ. Excursion. (1831) 316; G. parviflora Benth., Lab. Gen. Sp. (1834) 485. The crown (6-) 10 - 15 mm long. Stems leaves 10 - 15 mm long, kidney. Distributed.
F. glabruiscula Neilr., Fl. Niedr. - Österr., II (1859) 496. Naked plant. Distributed.
Var. bulgarica (Borb.) Vel., Fl. Bulg., Suppl. I (1898) 233; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc., II (1929) 262; Стоян. Стеф., Фл. Бълг., изд. I., Ed. 1, P (1925) 935; G. bulgarica Borb., Term. Fuz., XVI (1893) 51. Medium and upper stem leaves longer than broad, tapered. The crown is 18 - 25 mm long. Thracian Lowland (Asenovgrad), Znepole Region (Kyustendil). It is mentioned in Pazardjik (Vel., 1898).

Economic significance - Medicinal plant. Sprouts (Herba Glechomae) are used in the treatment of respiratory diseases (pharyngitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, etc.) and in secretory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

From:   „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989)

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Glechoma hederacea (syn. Nepeta glechoma Benth., Nepeta hederacea (L.) Trevir.) is an aromatic, perennial, evergreen creeper of the mint family Lamiaceae. It is commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground,[1] creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin.[1] It is also sometimes known as creeping jenny, but that name more commonly refers to Lysimachia nummularia. It has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.
It is considered an aggressive invasive weed of woodlands and lawns in some parts of North America. Despite this, no biological control research has been conducted by the USDA.[2] Instead, chemical herbicides are suggested, despite their drawbacks, particularly for woodland ecosystems. Hand-pulling is also suggested, although the plant is difficult to eradicate that way.


Glechoma hederacea can be identified by its round to reniform (kidney or fan shaped), crenate (with round toothed edges) opposed leaves 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) diameter, on 3–6 cm (1.2–2.4 in) long petioles attached to square stems which root at the nodes. Like crabgrass, creeping charlie's root has a ball. It is a variable species, its size being influenced by environmental conditions, from 5–50 cm (2.0–19.7 in) tall.[3]
Glechoma is sometimes confused with common mallow (Malva neglecta), which also has round, lobed leaves; but mallow leaves are attached to the stem at the back of a rounded leaf, where ground ivy has square stems and leaves which are attached in the center of the leaf, more prominent rounded lobes on their edges, attach to the stems in an opposite arrangement, and have a hairy upper surface. In addition, mallow and other creeping plants sometimes confused with ground ivy do not spread from nodes on stems. In addition, ground ivy emits a distinctive odor when damaged, being a member of the mint family.
The flowers of Glechoma are bilaterally symmetrical, funnel shaped, blue or bluish-violet to lavender, and grow in opposed clusters of two or three flowers in the leaf axils on the upper part of the stem or near the tip. It usually flowers in the spring.
Glechoma thrives in moist shaded areas, but also tolerates sun very well. It is a common plant in grasslands and wooded areas or wasteland. It also thrives in lawns and around buildings since it survives mowing. It spreads by stolons or by seed. Part of the reason for its wide spread is this rhizomatous method of reproduction. It will form dense mats which can take over areas of lawn and woodland and thus is an considered invasive or aggressive weed in suitable climates where it is not native.[1]

Ecological aspects

A number of wild bees fly upon this plant, including Anthophora furcata, Anthidum manicatum, Anthophora plumipes, Anthophora quadrimaculata, Osmia aurulenta, Osmia caerulentes, and Osmia uncinata. The plant is also galled by several insects,[4] including Rondaniola bursaria (Lighthouse Gall),[5] Liposthenes glechomae[6] or Liposthenes latreillei (Kieffer, 1898) (a gall wasp).[7] Despite its name, it is not related to true ivy (Hedera).


Glechoma hederecea is gynodiecious, with genets being either female or hermaphrodite. The females depend upon pollen from hermaphrodites for pollination.[3] Female flowers tend to be smaller than hermaphrodite flowers.[3] There is disagreement among biologists as to whether hermaphrodite flowers can pollinate themselves.[3] The plant spends the winter as either a small ramet or a small rosette. It produces flowers between April and July, the flowers are visited by many types of insects, and can be characterized by a generalized pollination syndrome.[8] Each pollinated flower can produced up to four seeds, which are dispersed by the stem bending over and depositing the ripe seeds in the ground adjacent to the parent plant, although ants may carry the seeds further. The seeds germinate a few days after contact with moisture, although they can be stored dry.[3] Dry storage for a period up to a month is thought to improve the germination rate.[3]
The plant can also reproduce clonally, with the stems bending down to the earth and allowing roots to attach themselves.[3] Singles clones can grow several metres across, although precise data is not currently available.[3]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - VI.

References:„Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: Grow in humid shady places through forests and shrubs. Spread, up to 800 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, Asia. Naturalized in North America.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


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