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Scientific Name: Ajuga repens
Other names: Blue bugle, Bugleherb, Bugleweed, Carpetweed, or Common Bugle
Family: Lamiaceae

Bugle is a native, perennial plant found in damp woods and meadows which spreads mainly by long branching stolons or runners which root at nodes along their length, forming new plants. The form pictured is a purple-leaved cultivar which is used as a ground cover plant, but it can become invasive if left unattended.

The juice from crushed leaves is astringent and has been used to treat wounds like its close relative Self-heal. Other medicinal uses include treatment for jaundice and rheumatism. The whole plant is gathered in early June when the leaves are in good condition, and can be dried for later use.

The oval, spoon-shaped leaves of the wild form are mainly green with a purple tinge. The cultivars used in the garden are dark purple-brown, but are greener if growing in deep shade. They are arranged in a rosette around the growing point and in pairs along the runners.
The purplish-blue flowers are borne in upright spikes with square stems. The individual flowers are tubular and are pollinated by bees. Not many seed are produced.

Dig out, clearing all of the runners; the white, fibrous adventitious roots do not regrow, but ensure that the growing point is removed.
Weedkillers to use:-
Glyphosate, systemic action killing the whole plant. Apply as spot weeder in the lawn. Treat the whole lawn with a selective weedkiller on its own ( eg. Verdone Extra) or a weed-and-feed type, it will probably take many applications to eradicate it because of the reservoir of seed and more mature plants may recover. Provided the soil is not disturbed the seed near the surface should eventually be eradicated.

Nicholas Culpepper
(17th century astrologer-physician)
"If the virtues of it make you fall in love with it (as they will if you be wise), keep a syrup of it to take inwardly and an ointment and plaster of it to use outwardly, always by you."

See also Self-heal which has similar flower spikes.

Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.

image of Bugle, Ajuga repens