Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea L.)
| Description | Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Control | Toxic principle | Clinical signs | References
Ground ivy is a low, prostrate perennial herb with slender 4-sided stems that hug the ground, root at their joints, and often cover areas of many square feet. Its leaves, two at a joint, are raised on slender stalks. They are roundish and have scalloplike teeth on their margins. Its small bluish flowers, found in the axils of the leaves, appear from April to May and even into July.
Ground ivy, sometimes called creeping Charlie, is a common weed of moist shaded places and is to be found in fencerows, about farmsteads, and in woodland pastures, gardens, and wastelands. It is also frequent near streams and ditches. A native of Europe, it has become a common plant throughout Illinois.
Ground-ivy poisoning is rare, probably because most animals do not like the bitter taste of the plant. Horses, the animals usually affected, are poisoned only after eating large quantities of the plant, either green or dried in hay.
Reasonable care should be taken not to graze animals in areas that are heavily infested with ground ivy, particularly at times when other herbage is dry or scarce. Neither should hay be made in meadows where the plant is abundant. Ground ivy should be regarded as a weed and destroyed in all places where it is a danger to animals. It is easily destroyed by cultivation.
Like other members of the mint family, ground ivy contains a volatile, aromatic oil. It also contains a bitter substance of unknown chemical constitution. It is collected as a drug plant and is used medicinally in small amounts as a stimulant and tonic.
After having eaten large amounts of ground ivy, poisoned animals, especially horses, slobber and sweat, and the pupils of their eyes become dilated. They pant for breath as if from overstimulation. Such poisoning is rarely fatal.
Ground Ivy entry in Wikipedia
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