This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial creeping or spreading herbs, with long-petioled, mostly lobed, palmately veined leaves, and solitary axillary white to violet flowers. Calyx 5-parted. Corolla irregular, 2-lipped, short-spurred; upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed; throat nearly or quite closed by the palate. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending, included, the filaments filiform. Style very slender. Capsule dehiscent by 2 terminal 3-toothed pores. Seeds numerous, small. [From the Greek for cymbal.]
About 9 species, natives of the Old World, the following typical.
Perennial, glabrous; stem trailing, branched, often rooting at the nodes, 3-12' long. Leaves slender-petioled, • reniform-orbicular, palmately 3-5-veined,3-5-lobed,1/4'-1' in diameter, the lobes broad and obtuse; petioles usually as long as the blade; flowers axillary, solitary, blue or lilac, 4"-5" long; peduncles slender, recurved, shorter than the petioles; calyx-segments lanceolate, acute; palate yellowish; capsule globose, several-seeded; seeds rugose, wingless.
Waste places and roadsides, adventive from Europe, Ontario to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in seaport ballast. Other English names are ivy-leaved toadflax, ivy-weed. Climbing or roving sailor. Aaron's-beard. Wandering jew. Mother-of-thousands. Oxford-weed. Pennywort. June-Aug.