©Paul Lane


Scientific name: Ajuga reptans
Often found carpeting damp grassland and woodland clearings, the blue flower spikes of Bugle are very recognisable. A short, creeping plant, it spreads using runners.

Species information


Height: up to 20cm

Conservation status


When to see

April to July


The deep blue flower spikes of Bugle can be found carpeting damp grasslands, scrub and woodland clearings on fertile soils. Spreading by means of overground runners that frequently root, it flowers between April and July and is attractive to a variety of insects including White-tailed Bumblebees, Green-veined White butterflies, Silver Y moths and Common Carder Bees.

How to identify

Low-growing and creeping, Bugle has large, oval leaves spread out in a rosette at its base, and smaller leaves growing up its flower spike. Small, purple flowers with protruding stamen sprout in between the leaves and are shaped like skirted ladies, often with faint stripes running down them.



Did you know?

A closely related species, the Pyramidal Bugle, is slightly denser in build and has darker leaves with an almost reddish-purple tinge. The Pyramidal Bugle is classified as a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework because it is declining.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time, scrub clearance and coppicing are just some of the ways grasslands and woodlands are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.