On day 302 of 365 Days Wild I spent some time with the Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) that I spotted, newly blooming, on the grass verge beside the lane.
Despite its name, this plant is not actually related to ivy and is a member of the dead-nettle family. It commonly grows in shady areas, in woods, hedgerows, grassland and waste ground. Its flowers, which appear from March until June, are violet coloured and strongly scented. Its leaves are evergreen. It grows in clumps and spreads using overground runners that frequently send down roots.
It id also known as creeping charlie, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin. Before hops came to be used in brewing, the leaves of ground ivy were used to flavour ale, which led to other names such as gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, and tunhoof.
Have you spotted any interesting wildflowers recently? Let me know in the comments below.