August 24, 2017

Blow that Horn

Ajuga reptans - Bugleweed

Janine Pineo Photo | Ajuga reptans - Bugleweed

Groundcovers are named as such because they tend to be quick spreaders. And that means they often can be a bit invasive. Not surprisingly, Ajuga reptans falls into the category. A member of the mint family (which harbors notoriously invasive members), bugleweed is a pretty one, its dense leaves carpeting the ground and the whole only made more attractive by the spikes of purple flowers rising above the mat. Pictured above are escapees from a small patch started many years ago. The plant has radiated out into the lawn (not a bad thing, in our opinion) and shows off in midspring with a wealth of blossoms that make the bumblebees very happy. Hardy to Zone 3, little can thwart bugleweed, which only grows a couple of inches off the ground with the spikes rising several inches above that for a short time in the spring. That means not even the mower can get to it, since the flowers are usually gone by the time the grass is high enough to trim. And did we mention that it likes partial to full shade? In our opinion, invade away, bugleweed.