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University of Minnesota Extension

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.

How to identify creeping charlie

creeping charlie leaves

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


person holding stem of creeping charlie plant
Creeping charlie vine stems
  • Square vine stems grow about two feet long.
  • Flowering stems are vertical.


  • 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.


small purple creeping charlie flower
Creeping charlie 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.


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


  • Roots grow from each leaf node that creeps along the soil surface, spreading vegetatively as well.

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

Reviewed in 2022

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