Ajuga 

(ah-jue' gah)

Common name: Bugle, Carpet Bugle, Bugleweed

Family: Lamiaceae, Mint

Height x width: 6-9" x 2-4'

Growth rate: fast

Foliage: basal, oblong to obovate, shiny green except for colored leaved cultivars

Flowers: usually violet-blue but with some cultivars red, white or purple; spikes in late spring to early summer

Hardiness: zones 4-8

Soil: most except wet, tolerates poor soil

Light: shade, tolerates sun in the north if sufficient moisture is provided

Pests and Problems: crown rot (where too crowded or not divided) more in south than north

Landscape habit, uses: groundcover for shade and under trees or in poor soils, slopes (photo courtesy photobucket.com, poeticlady)

Other interest: native to Europe

Other culture: reptans is aggressive so don't place near lawns without proper edging to prevent spread, or in borders where spead is not desired without extensive dividing to keep in bounds; mats so thickly that weeds will not grow through

Propagation: division of plantlets or from stoloniferous stems, seed, cuttings, tissue culture

Species:

australis (aus-tra' liss)--Australian Bugleweed, native to Australia, zones 6-9, thick dark green pubescent (hairy) leaves fragrant when bruised, light blue flower spikes to 8", 3-4" high mat otherwise

genevensis (ge-ne-ven' siss)--Geneva Bugleweed, native to Europe, zones 5-9 (zone 4 often if protected), basal leaves coarsely toothed, usually blue but occasionally white or pink 2" flower spikes, more upright and less spreading than reptans and faster growth than pyramidalis

pyramidalis (pir-a-mi-dal' iss)--Upright Bugleweed, native to Europe, zones 3-9, blue spikes in late spring 4-6", slightly toothed leaves, does not spread aggressively as reptans but does produce stolons in late summer in response to shorter daylengths

reptans (rep-tans')--main species of cultivars, name means "creeping" from spreading by stolons, native to Europe, violet flowers of species in late spring, leaves and habit as described for species, leaves ingested are a mild narcotic
 
 

Cultivars:

The following are the most commonly found in U.S. commerce, with those marked * the most popular.
 
Cultivar species flowers foliage
'Alba' reptans creamy white green
'Atropurpurea' reptans bluish violet bronze-purple
*'Bronze Beauty' reptans bright blue metallic bronze
*'Burgundy Glow' reptans bluish violet white, pink, rose, green
'Catlins Giant' reptans blue to 8" tall bronze-green
'Crispa':Metallica Crispa'      
'Gaiety' reptans lilac bronze-purple
'Jungle Beauty' reptans bluish violet dark purple, soft red edge
'Jungle Beauty Improved' reptans bluish violet larger leaves, better purple
'Metallica Crispa' pyramidalis deep blue metallic, brownish-red, crinkled
'Metallica Crispa Purpurea':'Metallica Crispa'      
'Mini Crispa Red':'Metallica Crispa'      
'Pink Beauty' genevensis light pink, 4-5" green
'Pink Silver' reptans bluish violet bronze tinted pink
'Purple Brocade' reptans bluish violet purple, brocaded, slow
'Purpurea':'Atropurpurea'      
'Royalty' reptans lilac very dark purple, sport of 'Gaiety'
*'Silver Beauty' reptans bluish violet gray-green edged silver-white
'Silver Carpet' reptans bluish violet silver-gray, green margins
'Variegata' reptans bluish violet gray-green edged cream, dense
       

(cultivar photos courtesy Missouri botanical gardens plantfinder)


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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