TREES & plants


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): 
Family (Botanic): 
Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae)
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Ground cover, 
  • Perennial
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Foundation, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border
Size Range: 
  • Small plant (6-12 inches), 
  • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Blue
Shape or Form: 
  • Creeping
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 


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

Ajuga reptans or Bugleweed