Ground Ivy - A Complete Guide

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Another edible plant which is best known for its weed-like tendencies, ground ivy spreads quickly and wraps itself around other tender plants and vegetables with a strangling effect. Like Goosefoot this can get out of hand in the garden or allotment site and is more of a nuisance than gastronomic delight.

Ground Ivy

Once known as ale-hoof for its ability to improve the flavour, shelf life and clarity of beer during the time of the early Saxons, the young leaves make an agreeable tea and spicy addition to a wild green salad.

Once identified for the first time you will see it growing in most places, from woodland, roadsides and cultivated land where, once left will carpet large areas. The best time to pick ground ivy is from mid spring until early summer when the leaves are still young and tender. During this time it produces attractive pale blue flowers.

Content and picture Miles Collins