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A common flower of damp woodlands and meadows in spring flowering for a short time in May and possibly in to early June.


  • Bugle: the carpenters herb

    Post date: Saturday, 14 March, 2015 - 00:00

    Bugle (Ajuga reptans) is a common flower of damp woodlands and meadows in spring and is common across Dorset in such habitat. It flowers for a short time in May and possibly in to early June.

    One needs to be a bit careful as it looks, at first glance, a bit like Ground-ivy and it is, indeed, closely related; they are both labiates (the mint family) . A more detailed look will quickly tell you it is not Ground-ivy, the plant being usually taller, the flowers larger and a darker blue and the stem being darkish in colour, almost a dark red and the leaves often have a purple tinge to them. Ground-ivy has a much longer flowering season and grows in drier habitat.

    Bugle is a nectar source for many insects and is a primary source of nectar for the now rare pearl-bordered fritillary. It has also been cross bred to make a number of cultivated species in gardens,

    Why it is called Bugle I have no idea, perhaps it is those long 'trumpet like' flowers? However, my good friend Wikipedia says that it is also known as the carpenter's herb due to its supposed ability to stem bleeding - sounds like me with a chisel!


Common Name Bugle
Scientific Name Ajuga reptans
Species Group Deadnettle Family Lamiaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Mint family - Labiatae
Status Occasional
Flower Colour Group Blue
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Whorls of blue flowers o a red square stem
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Deadnettle Family Lamiaceae