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Creeping Jenny Groundcover
Creeping jenny photo.

Creeping jenny too rambunctious a groundcover for you? Grow it in a container.

David Beaulieu

Creeping jenny groundcover (Lysimachia nummularia) will tolerate shade. And this yellow-flowered creeper not only tolerates moist soil, but actually prefers it (I have found the plant growing along river banks while kayaking). These qualities, along with its yellow flowers, might make it seem to be an optimal choice for a groundcover. Unfortunately, though, nice-looking or not, this vine is an invasive plant. That's too bad, as flowering groundcovers are highly valued in landscaping.

Golden creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea') is even more tempting to grow. Grow it in a sunny location to maximize the golden color of its leaves. Some report that 'Aurea' is less aggressive than common creeping jenny.

Does creeping jenny sound too good to pass up? Are you conflicted over using it as a groundcover, since in that role it is a bit too successful (i.e., it spreads well and fills in an area: the function that a groundcover is supposed to perform)? Try growing creeping jenny in a container (as in my photo) so as to restrain it.

Incidentally, another common name for this plant, in lieu of "creeping jenny," is "moneywort." This latter common name, along with the specific epithet, nummularia (Latin for "coin-like"), refers to the shape of the leaves. The numerous, small, rounded leaves resemble a pile of coins, supposedly. Hey, don't blame me for these derivations; apparently, Linnaeus (and botanists who have followed in his footsteps) had a very good imagination!

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