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Creeping charlie

Quick facts

Creeping charlie is an invasive species. 

  • Creeping charlie grows best in semi-shaded to shaded moist soils.
  • It forms a dense mat, smothering other vegetation.
  • Commonly found in urban sites and lawns.
  • It grows mostly in disturbed, degraded places.

This species is unregulated, but if you would like to add to the public information about this species, you can report new occurrences by submitting a report through EDDMapS Midwest.

How to identify creeping charlie

  • Creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is a perennial, evergreen, herbaceous plant.
  • Also known as ground ivy, creeping charlie is a member of the mint family.

Stem

  • Square vine stems grow about two feet long.
  • Flowering stems are vertical.

Leaves

  • Opposite, long stalked and bluntly toothed.
  • Bright green and shiny, round to heart shaped with palmate veins, eight tenths to one and a third inches wide.

Flowers

  • Light blue to bluish purple, tubular, four tenths of an inch long, and directed to one side of the stem in clusters of two or more.
  • Blooms from March to July.

Seeds

  • Small, flat, egg-shaped nutlets (four-hundredths of an inch long).

Roots

  • Roots grow from each leaf node that creeps along the soil surface, spreading vegetatively as well.
person holding stem of creeping charlie plant
Creeping charlie vine stems
small purple creeping charlie flower
Creeping charlie flowers

Angela Gupta, Amy Rager and Megan M. Weber, Extension educators

Reviewed in 2019

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