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We have a plant spreading across a gravel covered bed. It is my intention to plant ground cover here and wonder if I can keep this plant. My neighbour says it is very aggressive and will grow into brick work (the bed is along side our house), could you help with identification and advice, please? We are in the East Midlands, UK.enter image description here

  • Any chance of another photo, taken from further away,. or a bit further back - at first glance, this could be Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederachea) but the leaves don't have enough scallops at the edges. so a pic of its general appearance could be helpful. When was this pic taken - in spring? – Bamboo Nov 23 '15 at 13:11
  • What shape are the stems? I want to say this looks something like creeping Charlie, but it's just not quite right. Are the stems squarish like a mint stem? – Escoce Nov 23 '15 at 18:02
  • Could you detach a plant and see if the flower and leaves are from the same plant? The flower doesn't seems a Glechoma. I would go for a Schrophulariaceae. – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 3 '16 at 10:57
  • It doesn't appear to be Creeping Charlie, but this plant reminds me a lot of it, including the flowers. Does it smell minty at all, by chance? I'm guessing it's in the mint family, whatever it is (maybe even a cross-species hybrid). – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Sep 15 '16 at 11:04
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It is a Cymbalaria, maybe a Cymbalaria muralis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbalaria

For the second part (advice), assuming it is a Cymbalaria muralis. AFAIK she is not a competitive plant, but she can live in dry places (muralis = walls) where few other plants could live, so she will not invade other places. I have her in many walls, but it seems she is not to causing any problems with roots.

EDITED: added second paragraph.

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The flower looks very much like skullcap, which has a distinctive oddball insect looking form like your plant. Its also a member of the mint family which would make it an agressive spreader. However most all scullcaps have very matte leaves, not shiny at all, and covered with a lacework of veins. I looked around at various skullcaps though and the plant and its leaf forms is pretty variable and there were a couple shiny varietes. Its the flower that makes me think its a skullcap, but this is little more than a guess. Maybe this will lead someone else here to the right species of skullcap.

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