Saturday, June 21, 2008


Before I get started naming each of the Ajugas I've decided to include this morning, a bit about them in general. They are wonderful plants which add much needed color in spring with flowers in blue, white or pink. They can be quite invasive though they are also quite easy to contain (or just plain rip out). They are also quite adaptable to sun or shade, damp or dry, though baking sun without adequate moisture will be a challenge. The said, here are some I especially like.

The first is 'Tricoloris' which has at least 3 color, though there are often shades of many more. This grows under our white flowered redbud tree. And oh yeah, another thing about ajuga. Even though it seems to sport unusual colors or variegations easily, it reverts back to a plain green just as easily, so you need to be ready to remove the reversions lest they take over the entire plant.
Next is 'Silver Beauty' which hasn't had a reversion problem for me. The color is a grey/green with white, mostly on the edges. A medium increaser and quite lovely in my white garden.

This one, 'Rainbow', unfortunatly was eaten by something a few years ago. It grew under a forsythia and was noticed by everyone. The color really was this pink.
'Planet Zork' is really some sort of mutant with a pulled string edge on the leaves and a crinkly surface. It is also more upright. This pictures is not the best, but this one seems to revert way too easily and turned into plain green in a few years despite our best efforts to keep it from doing so.

'Pink Torch' is one of my favorites. The leaves are a plain green with some burgundy highlights, but the flowers are a true, clear pink, darker than the picture. It's leaves are always the same, but you may have some plants that revert to blue flowers. Just be sure you cull them out while they are still blooming because after bloom you'll never be able to tell which ones they are.

'Mini Crispula' is the only non-aggressive Ajuga I know of. It slowly expands it's tiny clump. It is an extremely dark green with some burgundy highlights in sun and just twists and wrinkles all over the place. Nice for a rock garden or someplace where it won't be overwhelmed by other larger plants.

Last but not least, is 'Caitlin's Giant'. This has large leaves of green highlighted by burgundy and is most aggressive. Not a friendly garden plant, but an excellent groundcover where not much else will grow. It will work on slopes or flat, sun or shade. The color is much better in the sun. More water = larger leaves, so be generous with this one.

We also grow one called 'Chocolate Chip' with narrow leaves in a chocolate color and an unnamed one with white flowers. Many more exist in various colors or leaves or flowers and all can be quite useful in the garden despite their sometimes bad reputation.

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