Height: 10-30cm (4-12in)

Planting di: stance: 15-45cm (6-18m)

Features: flowers: spring to summer

Soil: ordinary, moist

Site: partial shade

Type: herbaceous

In shady areas the colourful foliage and blue flowers of Ajuga take on a metallic lustre. A woodland plant providing useful ground cover, the foliage can be deep green or purple, though some varieties have variegated leaves coloured bronze, pink and yellow, or grey-green and cream. The flowers are born on erect shoots rising above the leafy carpet.

Popular species and varieties:


Ajuga genevetisis grows up to 30cm (1 ft) tall, with blue – or occasionally rose-pink or white – flowers and coarsely toothed leaves. Ajuga pyramidalis has toothed green leaves and spikes of blue flowers with purple bracts in late spring. It is 23cm (9in) high and 15cm (6in) across. Ajuga reptans (common bugle) flowers from early to mid summer and has flower spikes 15-30cm (6-12in) tall; mats of foliage about 60cm (2ft) across. The species has deep green leaves, but its varieties provide a wide

Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’ choice of leaf colour.

‘BraunherI.* has shiny, dark purple leaves; “Burgundy Glow’ is purple, bronze and cream; ‘Catlin’s Giant’ is robust with large bronze leaves; and ‘Multicolor’ is bronze, pink and yellow.


Plant in moist garden soil in a partially shaded site when the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.

Propagation: Divide at any time when the ground is workable.

Pests and diseases: Mostly trouble free.

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