Sunday, 23 April 2017

Ground Ivy

Where we cleared the bracken and brambles to coppice a section of hedge, a flurry of little blue flowers with purplish-red foliage has appeared.  In shady places the leaves stay green.

This is Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea).  It's not related to ivy so it's old-fashioned name of Gill is perhaps better.

It was used to flavour bitter ale before hops were introduced to England in the 16th century.  Gill tea was sold as a cough remedy into the 19th century.  It was made by infusing the slightly minty leaves in boiling water  and adding honey.

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