About 50 species of low-growing annuals and perennials make up this genus, which ranges through Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, mainl cooler regions. Although belonging to the mint family, their foliage is hardly aromatic. Rosettes of soft, spatulate leaves lenthen into spikes of blue, purple or pink (rarely yellow)2-lipped flowers. In most perennial species the plants spread by runners or underground rhizomes. some forming extensive carpets. They make attractive ground covers, especially for shady palces such as corners of courtyards.
This clump-forming species has the same beautiful dark foliage and fine flowers as its cousin Ajuga reptans, but
not the rapid spreading habit. 'Metallica Crispa', 'Pink Beauty' and 'Jungle Queen' (pictured) are interesting
cultivars in this species and highly recommended as excellent garden plants.
These are frost-hardy, trouble-free plants requiring little but moist soil and shelter from strong sun, though the bronze and variegated forms develop best color in sun. The commonly grown species thrive in a range of climates, from severe cold to subtropical. Snails and slugs can damage foliage. Propagate by division. Crown rot can be a problem so plant in well-ventilated areas and divide every 2 to 3 years. An occasional application of fungicide will help if this becomes a problem. 'Blue Bugle', 'Pink Spire' and Catlin's Giant' are recommended cultivars.
Ajuga pyramidalis 'Metallica Crispa'
Ajuga Reptans 'Atropurpurea'