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TREES & Plants

Bugleweed

The low, dense spreading habit of bugleweed makes an excellent  ground cover for part-shade or shady areas.  The round green leaves often have a purple tinge and low, short spikes of violet-blue flowers add spring interest.

Botanical name: 
Ajuga reptans
All Common Names: 
Bugleweed, Carpet bugleweed, Ajuga
Family (English): 
Mint
Family (Botanic): 
Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae)
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Ground cover
  • Perennial
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Occasional drought
  • Alkaline soil
  • Clay soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Blue
Size Range: 
  • Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
Shape or Form: 
  • Creeping
  • Spreading
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
Time of Year: 
  • Mid spring
More Information: 

Size

Bugleweed is a low-growing ground cover, usually staying under 6 inches.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in well-drained humus-rich soils
Avoid extremely wet sites.

Disease, pests and problems

Can develop crown rot in wet, crowded conditions.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Europe.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Elliptical to rounded shiny green leaves with square stems
Dark green leaves turn a reddish-bronze color in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Lavendar-blue flower spikes appear in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Not ornamentally important

Cultivars and their differences 

Alba (Ajuga reptans 'Alba'):  white flowers

Bronze Beauty (Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty'):  metallic bronze leaves

Catlin's Giant (Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'):   8 inch long green leaves with purple highlights, blue flowers

Chocolate Chip™  (Ajuga reptans  'Valfredda'): tiny, 1to 3 inch teardrop leaves turn deep chocolate bronze color, a dwarf creeping form