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.
See also Self-heal which has similar flower spikes.