Photo by Melody

Plant Identification: SOLVED: received as gotu kola (carrot fam.) but seems to be mint fam

Communities > Forums > Plant Identification
bookmark
Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 19, Views: 141
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2013
2:23 PM

Post #9447203

I received this from a friend as gotu kola (Centella asiatica), which is supposed to be in the carrot family (Apiaceae) and to have little inconspicuous yellow-white balls of florets.
However, the plant I received has a mild sage taste (I tasted it because gotu kola is edible, and have suffered no ill effects), square stems, and purple flowers (pictured), all of which seem to point to Lamiaceae (mint family). I was thinking it could be Ground-Ivy (Glechoma hederacea), but the leaves of what I have seem to be a different texture, and rougher, almost sandpapery, and less toothed. It is a creeping, spreading plant, very low-growing. The stems send down roots at the leaf axils as it spreads.
What do y'all think this is? :o) Thanks!

Thumbnail by spoonlegs   Thumbnail by spoonlegs   Thumbnail by spoonlegs   Thumbnail by spoonlegs
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 12, 2013
2:27 PM

Post #9447209

I agree with your ID of something like ground ivy, and surely not a carrot relative.
The weed may have overgrown the intended plant and your giver innocently unaware , passed it along.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


March 12, 2013
2:48 PM

Post #9447231

This pic looks the same: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/245866/

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 12, 2013
2:49 PM

Post #9447234

Centella asiatica may be a member of Apiaceae, but that is what the leaves look like. (go figure). I have seen some forms of the plant that have leaves similar to Nasturtium, nearly circular with the stem centrally attached. It has been long enough since I have grown it that I cannot remember if the stems were round or square. That said, the flowers do not look right.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 12, 2013
3:52 PM

Post #9447286

I'll be danged!
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/84867/
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

March 12, 2013
4:17 PM

Post #9447318

It looks like the leaf texture and arrangement, and the flowers match Glechoma; "gotu cola" flowers and leaves are quite distinct, and I cannot recall them making long stems.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/54458/

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 12, 2013
6:36 PM

Post #9447466

While the color is right, the morphology of the flowers in the initial photos do not appear (to me) to be the tubular, lipped flowers of Glechoma. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/38706/ Another photo of the flowers, perhaps from the side, might be helpful. Could be something we haven't considered yet.
TomH3787
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 12, 2013
7:35 PM

Post #9447530

I'm pretty sure it's Glechoma hederacea... the growth habit tends to be more compact in cool weather. You don't want this weed in your yard as it becomes quite invasive and difficult to eradicate.
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2013
10:29 AM

Post #9449100

Thanks for the interest, everyone. This is fun, and maybe we'll find out what it is! :0)

Glechoma hederacea is listed on several sites as edible . . . has anyone tasted it? Does it taste mildly of sage, and is it quite rough-textured on the tongue?

Here are some side-view pictures of the flowers on my plant. I'll take more as the plant moves more into flowering.
The large dewy leaves right behind the plant in the middle picture are blackberry leaves. At the base of the "gotu kola" plant in that picture you can see dew on the hairs on a green-toned leaf of the "gotu kola".

Thumbnail by spoonlegs   Thumbnail by spoonlegs   Thumbnail by spoonlegs      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
11:46 AM

Post #9449164

The side view of the flowers pretty well clinches it as Glechoma hederacea. In the face-on photos at the beginning of this thread the flowers appeared to be fairly flat. I have made Glechoma hederacea tea before. It is suggestive of mint tea. No surprise, but it will never become popular I don't think. Since it is pretty well determined that the plant is Glechoma hederacea, best to remove it post haste. Don't leave any rootlets or runners and keep an eye on the location for more.
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2013
12:42 PM

Post #9449222

Hmm. I'm still not convinced that it's Glechoma hederacea. Am I being silly?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 14, 2013
12:47 PM

Post #9449228

The Glechoma 'should' develops runners across the ground, the Gotu kola I think will NOT, but stay a central rosette.

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
6:04 PM

Post #9449627

From Wikipedia on Centella asiatica: "The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish-green in color, connecting plants to each other." The recent side photos of the flowers fully eliminate Centella asiatica as a possibility and make Glechoma hederacea a near certainty. No reason to keep for further growth as it becomes a very difficult plant to permanently eliminate.
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2013
7:58 PM

Post #9449758

I am certain that it is not Gotu Kola, nor anything else in the Apiaceae. I think that's decided. And that it's most probably in the Lamiaceae.
But I'm not convinced that it's Glechoma hederacea. For one thing, it tastes like sage, and so far I've only heard that Glechoma tastes a little like mint. Plus it doesn't look like Glechoma to me. Hmmmm. Any more thoughts?

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


March 14, 2013
8:05 PM

Post #9449766

I'd give it a bit of time as it's still in "winter mode". Spring isn't far away so give it 2 weeks and it'll probably start the growth needed for id confirmation.
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2013
8:27 PM

Post #9449783

Thanks growin, that sounds like good advice. And thanks to everyone for your input. :-) Happy spring!

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 19, 2013
6:40 AM

Post #9454533

Spoonlegs - Hope you read today's article. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1724/
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2013
11:19 AM

Post #9462686

I'm going to mark this as "solved" for now. If anyone does have another idea of what it could be besides Glechoma hederacea, please feel free to post it here. I may post more pictures if its appearance changes significantly.

It could well be just its late winter / early spring look that's making it look less green and frilly, or it could be a less-common genetic variant of the same species.

In the Glechoma hederacea article that greenthumb99 posted a link to (thanks!), the photo on the right does look more like the plant I have, but still has more frilliness to the green leaves than mine. Also, the article and several other sources state that the plant tastes bitter, and mine does not. Hmmm.

In the meantime, I will vigilantly curtail its spreading! It's probably a good idea, whatever it is! Thanks, everyone. : )

greenthumb99

greenthumb99
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 26, 2013
12:28 PM

Post #9462737

Spoonlegs - just a note of caution, taste is ...well, a matter of taste...as they say. Individual differences in perception, enjoyment and description vary widely. Its very subjective to be relied on too heavily as a diagnostic characteristic.
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2013
9:53 AM

Post #9463821

Yes, and some of the leaves are getting green and frilly, on a sprig I have in a vase in the house. :0)

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Plant Identification Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
SOLVED: Help with identification of this shrub dave 86 Nov 11, 2013 6:20 PM
SOLVED: Can Anyone Help Gayl 8 Jul 2, 2010 2:47 PM
SOLVED: help identify herb seeds????? dignbloom 6 Nov 4, 2010 8:08 PM
SOLVED: Mystery perennial dave 19 May 28, 2010 1:24 PM
SOLVED: Name my aloe??? tom1953 21 Jul 15, 2012 1:32 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America