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Ajuga reptans

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Grassland, woodland.

Blue, 2 petals
Blue leafy spike on vertical stem. Pink and white flowers are rare.
A four-parted inconspicuous nut called a schizocarp.
Dark green, glossy, oval leaves, sometimes bronze or light green in colour.
Other Names:
Blue Bugle, Bugleherb, Bugleweed, Bugleweed, Carpet Bugle, Carpet Bugleweed, Carpetweed, Common Bugle, St Lawrence Plant.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Ajuga reptans, also known as carpet bugle or bugleweed, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to Europe, but has been introduced to other parts of the world and is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. A. reptans is a herbaceous perennial that grows to a height of up to 30 centimeters. It has dark green, glossy leaves and small, purple, blue, or white flowers that bloom in the spring. The plant is commonly used in landscaping as a ground cover and is valued for its ability to tolerate a wide range of soil conditions and its ability to thrive in partial shade. A. reptans is also used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems and skin conditions.


Bugle, also known as Ajuga reptans, is a popular low-growing ground cover plant that is often used in landscaping and garden design. This hardy plant is native to Europe and Asia, and is prized for its attractive blue or purple blooms, its dense foliage, and its ability to thrive in a wide range of growing conditions.

Bugle is a low-growing plant that typically reaches only 6-8 inches in height, making it an ideal choice for use as a ground cover. The plant spreads rapidly, producing dense mats of foliage that can effectively suppress weed growth and reduce soil erosion. Its leaves are typically green and glossy, and are typically arranged in a rosette pattern at the base of the plant.

In the spring and summer months, bugle produces spikes of blue or purple flowers that add an attractive pop of color to the landscape. These spikes can reach up to 12 inches in height, and are covered in tiny, tubular flowers that are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators. The blooms are followed by seed pods that contain tiny black seeds, which can be collected and used to propagate new plants.

Bugle is a hardy plant that is well-suited to a wide range of growing conditions. It can tolerate full sun to partial shade, and can thrive in soils that range from dry and rocky to damp and rich. The plant is also resistant to deer and rabbits, making it an excellent choice for landscaping in areas where these pests are a problem.

In order to maintain its dense, attractive foliage, bugle should be trimmed back regularly to promote bushy new growth. This plant is also known to be an aggressive grower, and can quickly spread to areas where it is not desired. To prevent this, it is important to contain the plant by planting it in a bed or by using a barrier, such as a rock wall or garden edging.

In addition to its ornamental qualities, bugle also has a number of other benefits that make it a valuable plant to have in your garden.

First, bugle is a great plant for erosion control. Its dense, spreading growth habit makes it effective at suppressing weed growth, while its roots help to anchor the soil, reducing the risk of soil erosion. This makes bugle an ideal choice for planting on slopes and other areas where erosion is a concern.

Second, bugle is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. Once established, it requires very little water or fertilizer, and is highly resistant to pests and diseases. This makes bugle an ideal choice for busy gardeners who want a beautiful, low-maintenance ground cover that requires very little attention.

Third, bugle is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of different garden styles and designs. Whether you have a traditional cottage garden, a modern minimalist garden, or a naturalistic woodland garden, bugle is a plant that will fit right in. Its attractive foliage and blue or purple flowers can be used to complement a wide range of other plants, making it an ideal choice for use in mixed borders, rock gardens, and other types of garden beds.

Another benefit of growing bugle is its ability to attract wildlife to your garden. The blue or purple flowers of bugle are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it an excellent choice for planting in wildlife-friendly gardens. In addition, bugle is also a great plant to use in meadows and other naturalistic landscapes, as its dense foliage provides important habitats for small mammals, reptiles, and insects.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological benefits, bugle also has a number of medicinal uses. The plant is said to have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, from wounds and skin irritations to digestive problems. In some cultures, bugle is even believed to have supernatural powers and is used in spiritual rituals.

Bugle is also an excellent plant for growing in containers. Its low-growing habit and attractive foliage make it a popular choice for planting in pots and hanging baskets, while its ability to thrive in a wide range of growing conditions makes it ideal for use in container gardens. Whether you are looking to add a touch of color to your patio or balcony, or want to create a beautiful display in a window box, bugle is a great choice.

Finally, bugle is an easy plant to propagate, making it an excellent choice for gardeners who want to expand their plant collection. Whether you want to propagate new plants to share with friends, or simply want to create a larger patch of bugle in your garden, this plant is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings, making it a great choice for anyone who enjoys growing plants from scratch.

In conclusion, bugle is a plant that offers a wide range of benefits to gardeners and wildlife alike. Whether you are looking for an attractive and low-maintenance ground cover, a plant to attract pollinators, or a versatile and easy-to-grow plant for your container garden, bugle is an excellent choice that is sure to add beauty and value to your outdoor space.


Video 1: Common Bugle filmed at Capernwray, Lancashire on the 28th April 2023.


Video 2: Bugle filmed at Capernwray in Lancashire on the 13th May 2023.


Music credits
Constancy Part 3 - The Descent by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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