Ajuga-reptans-Caitlans-GiantAjuga reptans is a low growing evergreen herbaceous perennial native to Europe where it grows in woods and poor pasture land. It is a member of the mint family, Labiatae, that also includes rosemary, bee balm, and deadnettle. The square stems with hair on two sides carry spoon-shaped leaves that are shiny and dark green tinged with purple. Whorls of dark blue flowers are carried in leafy racemes up to ten inches tall, well above the foliage from late spring to early summer. The flowers are two lipped with a lower lip that is three-lobed and veined . Although the species can be invasive the cultivars are less so and offer a pleasing variety of  size, flower color ,and leaf variegation. A good choice for a ground cover in a partially shaded area. Attractive to bees, butterflies and other insects.

Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Whorls of dark blue two lipped flowers on 10 inch long leafy racemes from late spring to early summer

Size: 2-4” H (flowering stems to 10”) x 6-12” W

Light: Full sun to part shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, but tolerates less)

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Care: Contain plants when necessary

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, crown rot

Propagation: Division, cuttings in summer, seed (but cultivars may not breed true)

Companion Plants: Ferns, hosta, woodland phlox (P. divaricata), Japanese primrose, common violet, coral bells (Heuchera)

Outstanding Selections:
Var. alba (creamy white flowers)
‘Pink Spire: (7” long spikes of pink flowers)
‘Catlin’s Giant’ (6-12: tall (bronze-green foliage)
‘Burgundy Glow’ (6-12” tall; variegated foliage of white, pink, purple and green; slow growing)
‘Atropurpurea'(6-12” tall; dark bronze purple foliage)
‘Mahogany’ (1-3” tall; black purple foliage)
‘Chocolate Chip’ (1-3” tall; chocolate colored foliage with bronze highlights)
‘Silvery Beauty’ (4-12” tall; gray-green leaves edged with white)

By Karen