BUGLE

Ajuga reptans

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

month8apr month8april month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
type
typeZtieredwhorls
stem
stem8square

14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
In a damp deciduous wood where dappled sun will strike.


14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
An unusually dense gathering by way of long rooting runners (which Pyramidal Bugle lacks). Growing between 10 and 30cm high.


16th May 2008, Stair, Newlands Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A single stem, up to a foot high, with powder-blue flowers (occasionally and rarely pink, or creamy or white).


12th June 2008, Monks Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaf-like bracts in opposite pairs, with a small whorl of flowers just above them. Amidst the wet moss in the dark dank slippy slimestone-area of Monks Dale.


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaf-like bracts in alternate opposite pairs up the square stem. They are variously dark-green or infused with purple.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in whorls above the bracts. The stem is hairy on only two sides (un-like Pyramidal Bugle which has hairs all around).


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Bi-symmetrical flowers having a large flattish lower lip, two forwardly-angled side-arms, and a much shorter tiny upper lip.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Upper bracts almost stalkless; lower bracts on stalks.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Four yellow-tipped anthers protrude just underneath the diminutive upper lip.


13th May 2007, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Appley Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have white markings and blue veins on the lower and larger lip.


13th May 2007, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Appley Bridge. Photo: © RWD
Top view. The bracts can turn bronze, especially when exposed to strong sunlight.


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Two yet-to-open flower buds


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Flower has a long thin tube before opening out to the petals. Four anthers stand proud of the opening.


26th May 2015, Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Four yellow anthers ringed by purple openings.


14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Veins more prominent on obverse of bracts. Veins can be suffused with a deep purple/indigo colour. Note caterpillar.


13th May 2007, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Appley Bridge. Photo: © RWD
Notice how the square stem seems to twist 45° at the juncture of each bract. Strange that no book comments on this aspect. Surely worthy of note? Bracts have deep veins more prominent on the obverse.


14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stems square, hairy on only two sides. Corners may be suffused the same deep purple/indigo colour.


Easily confused with : Pyramidal Bugle but the flowers of Bugle are less deeply blue and protrude beyond the leafy bracts, whereas in Pyramidal Bugle all the flowers are shorter than the leafy bracts. Pyramidal Bugle does not have any runners, whereas Bugle does, and they run very obviously between plants above the ground. Bugle is less hairy than Pyramidal Bugle.

Not to be semantically confused with : Bugloss (Anchusa arvensis) another blue-coloured flower belonging to the Borage Family.

The stems of bugle are square, with hairs on only two diametrically opposite sides. The square stems sometimes twist 45° at some leafy bract junctions. The plant has a basal rosette of often bronzy leaves and has long rooting runners, so is patch-forming.

The flowers are powder-blue with white markings, but sometimes pink, white or creamy. the uppermost un-opened flowers often have a purplish hue. The upper lip is short, the lower ones larger with the largest and lowest one being slightly notched in the centre, and several sepal teeth, yellow at the tip, protrude from the 'horn' of the flower. They are in whorls up the stem.

Bugle prefers shade and often grows in large gatherings within deciduous woodland, preferring damp ground. The shiny green stalkless bracts on the main stem are in opposite pairs, and like most of the Mint Family on alternate sides up the square stem. There is a basal rosette of stemmed leaves at the base which can be so dark as to appear deep purple.

The flowers are cupped in sepals with five points.


  Ajuga reptans  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
family8mint family8dead-nettle family8Labiatea family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8ajuga
Ajuga
(Bugles)

BUGLE

Ajuga reptans

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage