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Ajuga reptans

Phonetic Spelling
ah-JOO-gah REP-tans
Description

Bugleweed is a dense fast-growing groundcover.  This herbaceous perennial is a member of the mint family. It is an excellent plant for moist areas, although it will tolerate moderately dry soils and makes a wonderful ground cover in cool, shady areas where grass will not grow. Its compact dense mat has beautiful small clusters of purple flowers. Divide these plants when they grow too crowded in the spring or fall or propagate by seeds or cuttings. Avoid planting in wet, heavy soils and provide good air circulation. Dense mat will help smother weeds but avoid planting near perennial beds or lawns where its spreading nature could pose removal problems.

As noted on this page, there are a number of Bugleweed cultivars available that share many of the traits that make it an excellent groundcover while offering variety in the color of the leaves and flowers and in the overall size and spread of the plant.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Crown rot can be a problem in deep Southern humid conditions and in heavy soils.  

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Pink and White Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Artic Fox
    Striking green leaves, dark purple flowers
  • Atropurpurea
    glossy, bronze-purple leaves
  • 'Black Scallop'
    dark maroon leaves, fragrant, compact
  • 'Bronze Beauty'
    2-4" tall, dark foliage
  • 'Burgundy Glow'
    tricolored foliage, blue flowers
  • 'Catlins Giant'
    bronze-green foliage, blue flowers on 8" spikes
  • 'Chocolate Chip' Flowers
    Chocolate brown leaves
  • 'Dixie Chip'
    variegated tri-colored foliage
  • 'Jungle Beauty'
  • 'Mahogany'
    leaves turn deep mahogany
  • 'Metallica Crispa'
  • 'Pink Lightning'
  • Purple Brocade
    thick purplish leaves with a brocaded texture
  • Purple Torch
    lavender torch-like flower spikes
  • 'Rubra'
  • Silver Beauty
    gray-green leaves, creamy white margins
  • Toffee Chip
    variegated foliage and dwarf size
  • 'Variegata'
Artic Fox, Atropurpurea, 'Black Scallop', 'Bronze Beauty', 'Burgundy Glow', 'Catlins Giant', 'Chocolate Chip', 'Dixie Chip', 'Jungle Beauty', 'Mahogany', 'Metallica Crispa', 'Pink Lightning', Purple Brocade, Purple Torch, 'Rubra', Silver Beauty, Toffee Chip, 'Variegata'
Tags:
#bees#purple#hummingbirds#white#evergreen#blue#perennial#violet#white flowers#weed#purple flowers#shade tolerant#blue flowers#spring flowers#apvg#fast growing#cpp#mat#violet flowers#summer flowers#ajuga#deer resistant#groundcover#spring interest#fantz#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#lawn weed#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#HS302#apvg-vg
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Artic Fox
    Striking green leaves, dark purple flowers
  • Atropurpurea
    glossy, bronze-purple leaves
  • 'Black Scallop'
    dark maroon leaves, fragrant, compact
  • 'Bronze Beauty'
    2-4" tall, dark foliage
  • 'Burgundy Glow'
    tricolored foliage, blue flowers
  • 'Catlins Giant'
    bronze-green foliage, blue flowers on 8" spikes
  • 'Chocolate Chip' Flowers
    Chocolate brown leaves
  • 'Dixie Chip'
    variegated tri-colored foliage
  • 'Jungle Beauty'
  • 'Mahogany'
    leaves turn deep mahogany
  • 'Metallica Crispa'
  • 'Pink Lightning'
  • Purple Brocade
    thick purplish leaves with a brocaded texture
  • Purple Torch
    lavender torch-like flower spikes
  • 'Rubra'
  • Silver Beauty
    gray-green leaves, creamy white margins
  • Toffee Chip
    variegated foliage and dwarf size
  • 'Variegata'
Artic Fox, Atropurpurea, 'Black Scallop', 'Bronze Beauty', 'Burgundy Glow', 'Catlins Giant', 'Chocolate Chip', 'Dixie Chip', 'Jungle Beauty', 'Mahogany', 'Metallica Crispa', 'Pink Lightning', Purple Brocade, Purple Torch, 'Rubra', Silver Beauty, Toffee Chip, 'Variegata'
Tags:
#bees#purple#hummingbirds#white#evergreen#blue#perennial#violet#white flowers#weed#purple flowers#shade tolerant#blue flowers#spring flowers#apvg#fast growing#cpp#mat#violet flowers#summer flowers#ajuga#deer resistant#groundcover#spring interest#fantz#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#lawn weed#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#HS302#apvg-vg
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ajuga
    Species:
    reptans
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, northern Africa, southwestern Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bumblebees, hummingbirds and songbirds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    sandy soil, clay soil; this plant is resistant to damage by deer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Each flower is replaced by 4 nutlets that are oval-shaped and pitted across the surface.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy blue-violet flowers in early spring through summer on 4 to 6 in. erect spikes. Flowers are dense along the spike.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Rosulate
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Glossy, medium green, 3 to 4 in.-long, oval-shaped leaves in tight rosettes. Whorled, simple, spatulate, irregularly toothed, glabrous; green, silver, bronze or purple; form basal rosette. Basal leaves are 3" long and 1" across, obovate, crenate. Opposite leaves along the stalk are similar to the basal leaves, except that they are smaller in size and ovate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Acaulescent. The flowering stalk is 4-angled and slightly pubescent or hairy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Foot Traffic
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Weedy