In this hot, very humid weather the invasives are taking control of my lawn. All the species in this genus are native to Eurasia. I asked John Zaborsky of the Wisconsin State Herbarium, “Do I need to eradicate them? The prairie doesn’t seem to mind.” He answered, “Maybe. All three spread along the ground and can form thick patches. It depends on how bad the infestation is, I would say.”
Spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) is a member of the mint family. The common name “deadnettle” refers to the resemblance of the leaves to stinging hairs of the nettle (Urticaceae ) family. However, spotted deadnettle lacks stinging hairs.
The soft, hairy leaves, which leave a putrid scent when bruised, are green with a white or silver stripe down the mid-vein. Leaf size, shape, variegation, and hairiness is quite variable. Flowers are purplish-pink or white, and two-lipped snapdragon-
The spotted deadnettle is a near-evergreen and can be used as a ground cover in shady areas. It is adaptable to sun or shade and covers a large area quickly.
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is in the Lamiaceae family. It is a fast-growing herbaceous perennial. It gets the name “reptans” meaning “creeping.” It is a dense, rapidly spreading, mat-forming ground cover. With its shiny, dark green leaves and blue, violet, or purple flower spikes, it can be 8 to 10 inches tall.
The upper lip of the flower is truncated and very small, while the large lower lip has three rounded lobes. The middle lobe of the lower lip is notched at its tip and is the largest in size.
It is evergreen to semi-evergreen. Bugleweed does well in full sun to part shade areas. It prefers medium moisture and well-drained soils. It spreads by stolons.
One of the ways to get rid of it is crown rot. It succumbs to humid conditions. It is self-seeding and rabbit and deer resistant.
Creeping Charlie or ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is in the Laminae family. It is a perennial broadleaf weed that invades through stolons that “creep” below the grass canopy.
The flowers are bluish-violet to reddish-purple. There is a notched upper lobe, a notched lower lobe, and two smaller side lobes. The lower lobe is larger and functions as a landing pad for visiting insects. (Illinois Wildflowers)
Creeping Charlie prefers partial sun and moist conditions. It spreads aggressively and is difficult to destroy without resorting to herbicides. It has a tendency to become dormant during hot summer weather. Leaves are opposite and heart-shaped with scalloped margins. It has a musky mint odor when crushed or mowed. It is self-seeding.
Lamiaceae family, with potent antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer functions, do not pull easily. There are always roots to begin again.
In the spring or fall (when the plant is actively growing) use herbicides that contain a combination of ingredients (such as 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba) for the Lamiaceae family. Use them carefully.
According to Purdue University Landscape Report, “The two most effective post-emergence herbicides labelled for ground ivy in the landscape include Dismiss (sulfentrazone) and Certainty (sulfosulfuron). Glyphosate is not nearly as effective and will take several applications to control ground ivy. Most herbicides require supplemental applications for adequate control.”