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.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Small plant (6-12 inches),
- Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of spreading
Bugleweed is a low-growing ground cover, usually staying under 6 inches. It is a trailing-rooting ground cover. Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil. New shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.
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
Black Scallop bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Binblasca'): Leaves are dark purple, nearly black, with scalloped edges; violet-blue flowers.
Bronze Beauty bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty'): metallic bronze leaves; violet-blue flowers
Burgundy Glow bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow'): Tricolor (burgundy, green and white) foliage; violet-blue flowers.
Catlin's Giant bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'): 8 inch long green leaves with purple highlights, violet-blue flowers
Chocolate Chip™ bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Valfredda'): tiny, 1to 3 inch teardrop leaves turn deep chocolate bronze color, a dwarf creeping form.
Dixie Chip bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Dixie Chip'): Tricolor (pink, green and white), narrow foliage; violet-blue flowers; 2 to 4 inches high.
Golden Glow bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Golden Glow'): Leaves are a mix of yellow and green, with rosy tones in cooler weather; violet-blue flowers.
Pink Lightning bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Pink Lightning'): Green leaves edged in white; pink flowers.
Silver Beauty bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Silver Beauty'): Green leaves edged in white; violet-blue flowers.
White bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Alba'): white flowers