There are about 12 species of creeping, perennial plants, in this genus. They are found occurring through much of Europe. The stems root at the nodes, often forming extensive mats of coarsely toothed, rounded or broadly oval, soft hairy leaves. Ascending shoots carry pairs of small, tubular, 2 lipped flowers in the leaf axils in summer. They make good carpeting ground covers, but can be very invasive and should be kept away from heavily planted beds. They are quite suitable for containers and hanging baskets.
They prefer full sun or part shade and moderately fertile, moist but well drained soil. Divide in spring or fall.
G. hederacea – Ground Ivy – Runaway Robin – This prostrate species has stems that take root at the node, often forming mats to 6′ feet or more across and producing an unpleasant smell when bruised. The opposite, almost kidney shaped leaves have scalloped edges. In late spring and early summer it bears small violet flowers.