Usually I separate individual flowers for the spotlight series, but the three below have such similarly shaped flowers, are all part of the mint family, and can be found nearby blooming about the same time, I though it would be best to show them together so you can see the similarities and differences side by side.
Purple flowers you may find almost everywhere you go. What are they? How can you tell them apart? Why are they everywhere?
You will find the first two blooming soon in a field nearby.
Known by many other names- ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, tun hoof, cats foot, field balm, and run-away-roin, is a regular in fields, yards, gardens, waste areas, really anywhere being a non-native invasive species to North America.
This plant grows low to the ground (rarely rising up past an inch or two unless it's creeping over another plant or rock). It can be differentiated from Henbit (not pictured, I have yet to find a specimen nearby) by the scalloped palmate leaves whereas Henbit has the same scalloping but the leaf goes the whole way around the stem (whorled).
Ground ivy was once used as a flavoring and clearing agent in beer brewing before it was replaced by hops in the 17th century (up til then hops was considered dangerous).
It has also been used to cure a wide variety of ailments...
...disorders of the bladder, kidneys, digestive tract, gout, coughs, colds, ringing in the ears, asthma, jaundice, headaches, and as an astringent and diuretic!
Discover new and interesting things about the world around you.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who spends her time exploring and learning about the unique history and nature in North East Ohio. She lives with her husband and cat in Wooster where she is also a family portrait and nature photographer as well as grows and cans her own vegetables. When she's not doing that, yoga and embroidery (not at the same time) are other things she enjoys.