Ajuga reptans L.

Family - Lamiaceae

Stems - Vegetative stems repent, herbaceous, typically glabrous, to +/-30cm. Flowering stems erect, 4-angled, densely pilose above, less so below, herbaceous, to+15cm tall, from thickened roots.

Leaves - Leaves of vegetative stems petiolate, opposite, from 1.5-6cm long(depending on variety), 1-3.5cm broad, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Petioles winged or not. Leaves of flowering stems opposite, sessile to +2.5cm long, 1.5cm broad, toothed, entire, or irregularly crenate, oblong to obovate, pubescent above and below, typically decussate in inflorescence.

Inflorescence - Axillary clusters of typically 4 flowers. Flowers sessile or on stalks to +/-1mm.

Inflorescence.

Flowers - Corolla blue-purple, bilabiate, tubular, sparsely lanate externally. Tube to +/-7mm long, -2mm in diameter. Lower lip enlarged, 3-lobed. Central lobe to +/-4mm long and broad. Lateral lobes to +/-2mm long and broad. Upper lip much reduced, 2-lobed. Lobes acute, to 1.5mm long. Stamens 4, subequal, adnate near apex of corolla tube, slightly exserted from upper lip. Filaments lilac, 2-3mm long, glabrous. Style 1, exserted from between and beyond stamens, to 9mm long, whitish below, purplish near apex, glabrous. Stigma 2-lobed. Ovary 4 parted, with sparse pubescence on apex of each nutlet. Calyx bilabiate, pilose, accrescent. Tube to 1mm long. Upper lip three lobed. Lobes 2mm long, acuminate. Lower lip 2-lobed. Lobes 2mm long, acuminate, converging.

Flowers.

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This plant is frequently cultivated in Missouri but not escaped, yet. It spreads by repent stems and reseeds itself. The leaves and stems can be from green to deep purple in color, and quite variable in size, depending on the cultivar.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-12-03.