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Glechoma hederacea - L.                
                 
Common Name Ground Ivy
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
Synonyms Nepeta glechoma. N. hederacea. Calamintha hederacea. Chamaecissos hederaceus.
Known Hazards A report in the medicinal uses says the plant should be used with caution, no reason is given. Another report says that the plant might be toxic to horses[222]. Avoid if pregnant as abortifacient. Contraindicated in epilepsy. Avoid if kidney disease [301].
Habitats Damp waste ground, hedgerows and woodland margins[7].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, northern and western Asia to Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Glechoma hederacea is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glechoma_hederacea_Sturm27.jpg
Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Hedgerow;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Young leaves - raw or cooked[9]. The leaves have a bitter flavour[5], they can be mixed into salads to add a slight aromatic tang[7]. They can also be cooked like spinach, added to soups etc or used as a flavouring[2, 183]. Available very early in the year. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[2, 177, 183]. It is often used mixed with verbena leaves[7]. The herb has been added to beer in much the same way as hops in order to clear it and also to improve its flavour and keeping qualities[4, 183]. This species was the most common flavouring in beer prior to the use of hops from the 16th century onwards[238].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiphlogistic;  Antirheumatic;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Miscellany;  Pectoral;  
Stimulant;  Tonic;  Vermifuge.

Ground ivy is a safe and effective herb that is used to treat many problems involving the mucous membranes of the ear, nose, throat and digestive system[254]. A well-tolerated treatment it can be given to children to clear lingering catarrh and to treat chronic conditions such as glue ear and sinusitis[254]. Throat and chest problems, especially those due to excess catarrh, also benefit from this remedy[254]. The leaves and flowering stems are anodyne, antiphlogistic, appetizer, astringent, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, pectoral, gently stimulant, tonic and vermifuge[4, 9, 21, 100, 147, 165, 178]. They are best harvested in May whilst still fresh[4], and are dried for later use[238]. The leaves are used in the treatment of hypersensitivity in children and are useful in the treatment of kidney diseases and indigestion[4, 9, 21, 100, 147, 165, 178]. Applied externally, the expressed juice speeds the healing of bruises and black eyes[4]. Use with caution[21].
Other Uses
Miscellany.

A good ground cover plant for shady places. It is rather vigorous though and can swamp smaller plants[197].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a heavy soil and dappled shade[17, 31]. Prefers a moist well-drained soil, succeeding in sun or shade[188]. A very invasive plant, spreading freely at the roots[1, 31, 238]. A good bee plant[108].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ as soon as it is ripe, or in the spring. Division in spring or autumn[188]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[31]Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland.
[100]Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
[108]International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
The title says it all.
[147]? A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[178]Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica.
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[197]Royal Horticultural Society. Ground Cover Plants.
A handy little booklet from the R.H.S.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Glechoma hederacea  
             

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