In yesterday's post about the woodchuck, you can see a nice drift of purple flowers in the background in many of the images.
That's the bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) that my neighbor inherited when he moved in, and has spread in large swaths through his lawn and to a smaller extent mine.
Neither of us minds it, and in fact I really like it. It's especially nice when it flowers in late April, but it's also very good when not blooming. I've dug some up before and planted it in various places in my yard, and I may do that again, adding more patches to my lawn. I love the texture it provides, and the darker foliage is a nice contrast to the other alternate lawn plants too.
Woodchucks don't eat it, nor do deer from what I can tell, and I don't know if I've ever seen a rabbit eating it either.
Although I knew there were both "purple" and green-leaved versions growing here, I hadn't really noticed before this year that there is quite a bit of variety in color of both the foliage and the flowers:
At first I thought that the lighter flowers went with the green foliage, but that's not always the case as there are dark flowers on green plants too. Let's look at the foliage...
There are the "purple" leaves:
The "chocolate" (ok, brownish) leaves:
and of course green:
Here they are again in mass, purple, chocolate, green:
The interesting thing to me is that these plants have been here for at least 15 years, possibly longer. They didn't always form such large patches in the lawn, and I'm pretty sure that all of these different colors wouldn't have been planted. Most likely a single color was planted, and the others grew from seed. That has to be the case, right?
Bees love the flowers, and with so many blooms there's bee activity on even the chilliest of days (like when I took these photos):
The flowers have no fragrance, and although they're small they're quite nice I think, especially in drifts like this.
Let's just take a look and enjoy...
You know, seeing all of these images together like this is pretty fantastic! What a beautiful plant!
Where's my spade? I need to go transplant some more of these right away!