It seems that everywhere you happen to look there is something historic in bloom. Ahhh, but that’s spring.
Glechoma is a low-growing, creeping ground cover in the mint family. I took the photo at Ijams Nature Center of it growing along the Universal Trail.
Native to Europe and southwestern Asia but introduced to North America, glechoma has now become common in most regions other than the Rockies. Its regional folk names include creeping Charlie, catsfoot, field balm, run-away-robin, ground ivy, and, perhaps the most widely used and my personal favorite, "gill-over-the-ground." But again a natural historian's query: What’s a gill?
Here’s one for my friends in the UK. The term can be traced back to the Saxons. They used the plant in brewing beer as flavoring, clarification and preservative, before the introduction of hops for the same purposes; thus the brewing-related name “gill-o'-the-ground.”
A gill was an unit of measurement as indicated by the chorus from the very old drinking song, “The Barley Mow,”
“Oh the quart pot, pint pot, half a pint, gill pot, half a gill, quarter gill, nipperkin and the brown bowl. Here's good luck, good luck, to the barley mow.“
That’s just great. But what’s a nipperkin?