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The Song Of The Bugle Fairy (Ajuga)

Ajuga is hardy zones 3-9 and prefers light shade and evenly moist well-drained soil.

ajuga reptans-edit

Photo: Anita363 (flickr)

"At the edge of the woodland / Where good fairies dwell, / Stands, on the lookout, / A brave sentinel..." (from Cicely Mary Barker's poem "The Song of the Bugle Fairy.")

Ajugas are perennials that are commonly known as bugles or bugle weeds, and there are about 40 species in the genus.

Ajuga reptans (reptans means creeping), is often used as a ground cover that carpets the ground with glossy rosettes of spoon-shaped leaves and spikes of violet-blue flowers in late spring.

Cultivars with variegated foliage are less vigorous than those with green or bronze leaves it seems. It is hardy zones 3-9 and prefers light shade, though it will grow in sun too.

In evenly moist well drained soil, Ajuga reptans spreads vigorously, so choose a site carefully.

Cicely Mary Barker, wrote a poem about this plant and called it, as you might guess, “The Song of the Bugle Fairy.” It appears in The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies (Penguin Books).

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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