GROUND PINE

Ajuga chamaepitys

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8brown
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8square
 
smell
smell8pine
resin
rarity
rarityZrare
 

23rd June 2012, Vice County 16, West Kent. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Ground Pine is not a ground spice, nor is it a Pine tree (although it does smell aromatically of pine). It also, at first glance, looks like it has needle leaves like other pines. It is a low plant, up to 20cm long but often prostrate. Somewhat unusually for a plant in the same genus as Bugle it has yellow (rather than blue) flowers.

The bonus is the Fred Flintstone just 'north' of the larger Ground Pine, indicating a chalky soil.



3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Several Ground Pines in this photo, one gone to seed and recumbent. It might be the case that the recumbent one is a branch off the upright one; they do branch lower down.


3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The leaves emerge from the square opposite each other but alternately at right-angles up the stem. The unusual feature is that soon after emerging, they split into three long, narrow and linear lobes. Each lobe has a groove on the upper surface along the centreline.

Abutting the stem are the remains of the flowers, now turning to fruit. The 5 sepal teeth now easily visible, and long(ish). It is a hairy plant.



23rd June 2012, Vice County 16, West Kent. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
A shorter Ground Pine behind the prominent one.


23rd June 2012, Vice County 16, West Kent. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Flowers have a wide lip with just a sligth nick at the end. The two 'arms' nearer the stem are quite short.


23rd June 2012, Vice County 16, West Kent. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Linear leaflets have a few long white hairs.


3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flowers congregate close to the stem and on all four sides of it.


3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


3rs Aug 2005, Vice County 12, North Hampshire. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


Not to be semantically confused with : Ground-Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) [a blue-flowered Dead-nettle plant with similar name], nor to Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) or Low Ground-cherry (Physalis pubescens) nor to any Alpine prefixed plant nor to Orpine (Sedum telephium subsp. fabaria).

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Pine [Tall coniferous trees with similar names belonging to differing families].

It is a very rare [RRR] and native plant found in the UK only in the South and South East of England , and north into Suffolk. It grows in arable fields on chalky soils, or even on bare chalk. It is decreasing in number.

It gets its common name Ground Pine by being very close to the ground, and by having leaves which look like pine needles (although it is an annual and not a tree) and by smelling of aromatic vapours similar to those given off by Pine Trees; resinous.

Hundreds of terpenoids and sesquiterpenoids have been found in Ground Pine. Here your Author just lists the more major ones (those listed above 1%). Multiple values might refer to various parts of the plant, either herbal parts or aerial parts. (Whatever 'herbal' parts actually means, and whether or not they include leaves, stems, etc which are aerial...). Multiple values also come from differing sources of information., take your pick, there is sometimes a huge variation on some secondary metabolite percentages! Even allowing for the fact that you should not add up the percentages on any one single line, your Author suspects that 'percentage' is a somewhat loose term here, and that he suspects they will sum vertically to more than 100% - even discounting all those substances which are less in 'percentage' than 1% (which your Author has omitted).

A few of these compounds will contribute to the pine smell attributed to Ground Pine, especially probably the α-Pinene which is present in fairly large amounts, as this is one of the many compounds also found in Pine Trees and from where it obtained its name.


α-Cadinol 1.9%
δ-Cadinol (aka Torreyol) 1.4% 1.8%
δ-Cadinene 1.1% - 1.2%
α-Copaene 1.8% - 5.6% - 1,9% - 2.6%
α-Muurolene 1.2%
γ-Muurolene 0.5% - 5.2% 0.8% - 1.1%
α-Muurolol 6.4%
α-Pinene 1.9% - 16% - 34.3% - 5.6% - 10.9% - 5.4%
α-Thujene 1.1% - 2.7%
β-Caryophyllene 0.5% - 7.8%
β-Cubene 4.8% - 5.7% - 2.1% - 2.5%
β-Pinene 14% - 20.8% 14.8% - 22%
β-BicycloGermacrene 0.6% - 1.8% - 1.1% - 1.7%
β-Bourbonene 1.5%
β-Cubebene 1.7% - 2.9%
Cubebol 0.2% - 1.5%
β-Myrcene 1.2% - 1.5%
Myrtenal 1.3% - 3.4% Z-
β-Ocimene 2.6%
Carvacrol 0.2 % - 1.7%
γ-Elemene 3.7% - 1.0% - 1.9%
γ-Terpinene 7.7%
Germacrene B 0.9% - 1.4% 13.6% - 5.9%
Germacrene D 12.6% - 14.6% - 5.6% - 16.2% - 26.8%
Germacrene D-4-ol 0.4% - 7% - 1.3% - 0.5%
BiCycloGermacrene 5.1%
Camphene 2.7%
Sabinene 2.5%
1-octen-3-ol 1.3%
Hexadecanal 1.0%
HexaDecanoic Acid 0.1% - 3.1%
Ledol 1.2% - 2%
Limonene 1.1% - 2.5% - 6.1% - 1.3% - 1.4%
Linalool 1.3% - 1.7% - 3.1%
Myrcene 1.4% - 2.3% - 1.4%
Phytol 1.5% - 2.8%
Viridifloral 1.0% - 5.0% - 2.5% - 5.7% - 6.0%
2-PentaDecanol 1.0%
trans-Caryophyllene 1.7% - 3.7%
trans-PinoCarveol 1.1% - 3.3%
trans-Verbenol 1.2% - 2.9%


  Ajuga chamaepitys  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Mint / Dead-Nettle family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Ajuga
Ajuga
(Bugles)

GROUND PINE

Ajuga chamaepitys

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]