Native to Europe, but introduced to North America as a garden ornamental, and now found throughout most of the United States and southern Canada, with the exception of the southeastern and extreme southwestern states.
A perennial that reproduces from seeds, and the seeds are a frequent contaminant in grains that further spread the plant. The foliage dies back in the colder climates in winter, with re-growth from the roots. Plants grow quickly to about 3 feet in height. Commonly found along roadsides and edges of wooded areas where soils are moist but well drained, and partial shade is available.
Mature plants grow somewhat upright or falling to around 3 feet in height, with one to several stems. These are thin and weak, and as the upper foliage increases the weight causes the plants to fall over more prostrate. Upper leaves are clasping, lower leaves have short stalks, and leaves are spade-shaped with pointed tips and serrate margins. Upper and lower surfaces are covered with short hairs. Flowers are violet-blue and bell shaped, with the tips of the petals curving back slightly. They are produced singly on short stalks arising from the leaf axils.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Due to the ability to grow from the roots, physically pulling the plants may not eliminate it from a site. Seed production is heavy and plants are very invasive in landscapes. A systemic herbicide will kill all plant parts, and a pre-emergent herbicide will prevent seed germination.