Cymbalaria muralis
Common Name: Kenilworth ivy
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Native Range: Northern Italy
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Blue violet with yellow throat
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Kenilworth ivy is most comfortable in Mediterranean-type climates (cool summers and moderate winters). Plants are generally intolerant of high heat and humidity. Foliage is evergreen in warm winter climates, but is semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area where it will brown up and show considerable decline in harsh winters. Foliage is intolerant of foot traffic. Plants grow fast, but are easy to control and are not considered invasive. Plants in 3” pots may be spaced 15” apart. Plants may freely self-seed in optimum growing conditions. Propagate by seed or division. May be grown as an annual.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cymbalaria muralis, commonly called Kenilworth ivy, is an extremely low-growing ground cover which forms a dense mat of tiny, shallow-lobed, rounded to kidney-shaped, medium green leaves (to 1" across) which typically grow 1-2” tall on trailing stems that root at the nodes. It is native to Europe and Asia. It has escaped gardens and naturalized in many parts of North America. Tiny, long-stalked, snapdragon-like, blue violet flowers with yellow throats bloom May to September. Flowers are quite attractive on close inspection, but perhaps too small to be considered showy.

Formerly known as Linaria cymbalaria.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kymbalon and Latin word cymbalum meaning cymbal referring to the leaf shape of some species.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word meaning wall in possible reference to the ability of this plant to grow in the fissures and cracks of old walls.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Winter hardiness in the St. Louis area is a concern. Damping off can be a problem with seedlings. Snails, slugs and mites are occasional visitors.

Garden Uses

Ground cover for small areas or slopes. Fills in fissures on stone walls or will sprawl over rocks in the rock garden. Hanging baskets.