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Woodland groundcover ID?

Posted by PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 24, 05 at 20:50

Does anybody know what this is? It carpets the ground, putting roots down at the leaf nodes, and has 4-5" flower stems with tiny pale purple flowers. The leaves are opposite, the stems are not square so i assume it's not in the mint family. It grows in the dappled shade of trees beside our new garden and is quite pretty but I am wondering if it's invasive.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

Does it have 4 petals?
May be in the veronica family


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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

That is what I thought too. Here's a comparison (creeping veronica on the left). C V's flowers are on a stem (peduncle?) - one difference. Seems to me also that veronica's petals are of equal size while the woodland one has three petals the same, the bottom one longer, like a violet. And veronica blooms here in late spring while this one is just finished blooming.

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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

I got chills when I saw this photo! (and excellent photo, by the way.) Just became a member in order to respond to this, as this weed has been bugging me so much lately. YES, it is invasive. It's taken over almost my entire lawn, popping up everywhere - that "rooting at the nodes" thing? - that allows it to grow under the grass without being noticed, in a full sun place. I go to pull it where I see a couple leaves, and 4square foot and a half hour later I've got a huge bag full of those stems. I keep forgetting to bring a sample of it with me for a nursery to ID, but will remember and will post back here. but from seeing the difference in our "lawn" (admittedly not the golf-course style) between last year and this year, I would rip this stuff out pronto. We've got at least 10 times more of this weed within a single year, and that's just from what I can see. It's a STEALTHY and strong-willed weed. when we find out what it is, you've got to submit your photo to the main weed sites that talk about it. haven't yet found any photo that resembles this weed. please let me know if you've already ID'd it.


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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

  • Posted by PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 29, 05 at 19:50

Well thanks naranja - the wonders of scanning. But really - yikes. Maybe it's more invasive in your zone than ours - I hear morning glories and other species that are hard or impossible to overwinter here can be invasive there. Can you tell I'm worried now.

Looking at the bottom photo I'm struck again by the resemblance to creeping veronica. Wish I could find a site that had photos of this - I've googled groundcovers, woodland, native, veronica, and variations thereon without luck.

Let me know if you find anything out from the nursery.


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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

I am pretty sure it is a veronica. I did a quick google search, and found Thymeleaf speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia. The leaves are different, as they are not serrated, but the flowers appear to be the same. This one may not be it, but keep searching, because it is a Veronia species. I just don't know exactly which one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Veronica serpyllifolia image search


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RE: Woodland groundcover ID?

The perennial and invasive "wild" morning glory weed is not the same as the tender morning glories that we grow as ornamentals. It is the notorious bindweed that binds mowers and covers entire sheds and fences-- the northern version of kudzu. But there is no worry about planting ornamental morning glory. What a loss that would be.

Naranja, I wonder if what you have is what we call Gill-on-the-ground here (Glechoma hederacea, also known as creeping charlie and ground ivy, but so are many other plants). It looks very similar to creeping veronica, but has more rounded leaves and a sort of minty smell when crushed. It is hideously invasive and does love to take over lawns and other open places.

I agree with others, though that Paul's plant is probably some variety of creeping Veronica. Bloom time can vary. It also can be a pest in the wrong place, as it also spreads by underground runners, but not as invasive as Gill-on-the-ground. Creeping veronica prefers woodland and shade. Gill-on-the-ground will grow in shade, but much prefers sun.

Dayle Ann


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