Fresh Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy is another potentially invasive plant that is all over my yard. It is a creeper, growing low across the ground and rooting at stem nodes. The stem is a square shape and the leaves have rounded rather than serrated edges. It seems to prefer damp areas, partial shade and “wasteland” where nothing else is growing yet. Since it grows so much faster than anything else in the yard it can take over open space before any other plant can get established, but doesn’t take over areas that already have good coverage. It is easy to pull up, though it always seems to leave something behind from whence it will spring anew.

However, it is pretty. It smells nice when you crush the leaves. The bees love it. It keeps the ground moist and works well as a ground cover, if you can keep it on the ground. It will vine up and grow over just about anything near the ground, but doesn’t climb up fences or poles.

Most importantly it is edible and medicinal. Though in the mint family, it is very strong, almost peppery in flavor. High in vitamin C and iron, young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, older leaves used fresh or dried for tea, and flowers eaten in salads. If my brewing adventures continue I may try making a gluten free ale of some kind using the ground ivy.

If you can’t beat em, eat em. 


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