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Upright Bugle

Ajuga genevensis

  • Name also: Green Ajuga, Carpet Bugle, Geneva Bugleweed, Blue Bugleweed, Blue Bugle (USA)
  • Family: Mint Family – Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Runnerless.
  • Height: 10–35 cm (4–14 in.). Stem 4-edged, completely hairy.
  • Flower: Corolla irregular (zygomorphic), bright blue, 12–20 mm (0.5–0.8 in.) long, fused, bilabiate, long-tubed. Corolla upper lip very short, 2-lobed; lower lip 3-lobed, central lobe with notched tip. Calyx almost regular (actinomorphic), 5-lobed. Stamens 4, of which 2 long and 2 short, protruding from corolla. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels. Flowers in whorls forming a lax cylindrical spike from the base.
  • Leaves: In basal rosette and opposite on stem, stalked–stalkless. Rosette usually withers when plant flowers. Blade ovate–elongated-elliptic, large-toothed. Subtending bracts become smaller towards crown, lowest like stem leaves, uppermost shorter than flowers, often partly blue.
  • Fruit: 4-parted schizocarp.
  • Habitat: Beside railway tracks, fallow land, gardens, parks. Ornamental.
  • Flowering time: May–July.

Upright bugle is sometimes cultivated in Finland as an ornamental, and as a casual alien it can be found growing e.g. around railway tracks and on lawns. In places it is regarded as virtually established. Bugles differ from other members of the Mint (Lamiaceae) family in that they lack the aromatic fragrance that is typical of most of the rest of the family.

Upright bugle is at least during its flowering time easy to tell apart from the other members of the genus that grow in Finland: its leaf rosette is usually withered when it is in flower, while in other species the leaf rosette stays vibrant throughout the growing time. The way that the stamens protrude from the corolla is also a good identification marker. On the other hand, if several species are all growing in the same place, they can cross-breed with each other. Upright bugle is quick to cross with blue bugle (A. reptans), but it also crosses with pyramidal bugle (A. pyramidalis).

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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