Creeping Charlie (Ground Ivy)
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Google search Creeping Charlie and you will get a plethora of websites that offer suggestions how to kill this "invasive" weed; yet if you truly want to get rid of it, eat it! For centuries Creeping Charlie has been praised as a nutritious edible plant that's loaded with vitamin C. This powerful wild edible has a multitude of health benefits and tastes great in a salad.
Distinguishing Features: Creeping Charlie is a creeping European perennial evergreen, naturalized in North America. It is a member of the mint family and has very fine hair all over and has a square creeping stem. The main root is thick and matted it sends out runners as long as almost one metre.
Flowers: Flowers appear as early as March and are purplish to blue; they two lipped and grow in axillary whorls of six.
Leaves: The leaves are heart-shaped, are opposite, scalloped, dark green, sometimes they may appear to be tinted purple.
Height: Creeping Charlie is a ground cover.
Habitat: Damp waste ground, hedgerows, shady locations, woodland margins and this wild edible thrives in moist, shady areas of the lawn and garden, and in sunny areas too if the lawn is thin.
Edible parts: Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves have a mild bitter flavour and can be tossed into salads to add a slight aromatic tang. They can also be cooked like spinach, added to soups, stews, or omelet. Tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. It is often used mixed with verbena leaves or lovage. This wild edible has been added to beer in much the same way as hops in order to clear it and also to improve its flavour and keeping qualities.