Scientific: Ajuga reptans (Ajuga repens)
Common: common bugle, carpet bugleweed
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Origin: Europe, western Asia and northern Africa

Pronounciation: A-JEW-ga REP-tans

Hardiness zones
Sunset
1-9, 12-24
USDA 3-11

Landscape Use: In Phoenix, common bugle is best used as a small-scale groundcover for shaded and bright indirect-lighted landscape atriums and shaded entryways. In higher elevation landscapes of Arizona, Ajuga serves as a lovely open-air, small-scale ground cover where close inspection of it's wonderful detail can be made.

Form & Character: Small, very diminutive and elegant. Ajuga is a real treasure of a small spreading plant that few anymore are willing to take the time to discover.

Growth Habit: Slow, very prostrate and spreading by stolons. In time, carpet bugle can form a dense mat.

Foliage/texture: Somewhat succulent foliage, dark green with shades of bronze to purple of various sizes to 1 inch long, sometimes re-curved and crenate. Looks like very small leaf lettuce; medium texture./font>

Flowers & fruits: Small protruding blue to purple (sometimes rose or white) flowers in spikes during winter/spring.

Seasonal color: Leaf color during winter cold and flowers in spring.

Temperature: Carpet bugle really is only marginally heat tolerant in Phoenix and needs protection from the direct sun. In the right spot, it's foliage will color a rich purple though during the winter months of cooler weather.

Light: Full shade, only indirect summer sun, can take partial shade conditions during winter. Full sun in coastal California and at higher elevation landscapes in Arizona such as in Prescott, Payson and Flagstaff.

Soil: Organic and moist! Prefers slightly acidic soil, so additions of peat moss as a soil amendment is suggested for alkaline desert soils.

Watering: Regular water to keep soil moist.

Pruning: None, except to divided and separate crowded mats of vegetation every 3 to 4 years.

Propagation: Dvision of stolons (commercially most common) and seed.

Disease and pests: Crown rot is a problem if soil is not well drained (important as soil must also be moist!).

Additional comments: Ajuga is only marginally hardy in Phoenix or Tucson because of the summer desert heat. If used in the desert Southwest it MUST be in full shade with a heavily organic amended, well drained soil. In Arizona, Ajuga is better suited for landscapes in the Prescott, Flagstaff, Payson, and Pinetop-Show Low areas. Ajuga has a myriad of cultivars having various leaf sizes and colors including variegated. White flowering cultivars exist also. Reported to be deer resistant. Carpet bugle is reported to have medicinal properties.