- Ground Ivy
- Repent, herbaceous. Flowering portions erect, to +30cm tall, glabrous or often strigose on angles.
- Opposite, petiolate. Petioles densely retrorse pubescent, reduced upward. Blades reniform to orbicular, to +3cm long (and wide), typically glabrous but also sparsely pubescent. Margins crenate.
- Axillary clusters of 2 or more flowers, secund. Pedicels to 1.5mm long.
- Corolla blue-purple, bilabiate, to +2cm long. Corolla tube bearded internally at apex, with purple spotting internally. Upper lip single-lobed, with notch at apex. Lower lip 3-lobed. Lateral lobes small, 2mm long. Central lobe 3-4mm long, 4mm broad, with dark purple spotting. Stamens 4, included. Style to 7mm long, white, glabrous. Stigma 2-lobed, purple. Calyx tubular, 6-7mm long, with 12-15 nerves(ridges), 5-lobed. Lobes acute to acuminate.
- March - July.
- Moist ground, low woods, slopes, roadsides, railroads, disturbed sites, waste ground.
- Native to Europe.
- This little plant is one of the first to bloom in the spring and is quite striking. It prefers a somewhat shaded location and moist ground. The plant was cultivated at first but is now escaped and quite common. The flowers produce 4 nutlets each. Since it is introduced, it should not be propagated outside of cultivation.
Steyermark lists two varieties in the state. Variety
has corollas to +2cm long. Variety
has corollas to 1.5cm long and is much more common.
Photographs taken in Columbia, MO., 4-15-04.