Ajuga hybrida ‘Chocolate Lace’
A perfect groundcover
Narrow miniature leaves are a rich dark chocolate colour. They form tidy rosettes making a beautiful tight carpet flat to the ground. Grows as a dense, weed suppressing mat. Ajuga ‘Chocolate Lace’ is evergreen (or in its’ case ever-chocolate), so it provides a year round colour contrast to all the greens, and is the tightest, flattest, most dwarf of all the varieties.
Used as a chocolate groundcover under taller flowering plants, roses and shrubs – it sets off the colours of any other coloured blooms perfectly. The foliage mat is shiny, tough and a sparkling texture.
Long blooming blue flowers
Lacy blue 15cm. tall flowers spikes are a vivid treat over spring and well into summer. The flower spires on ‘Chocolate Lace are a particularly vivid blue. A long bloom period of approximately four months. Sadly, no fragrance – it is the only sin.
Where to use in the garden
Great groundcover for beneath roses, shrubs and trees where little else can grow.
Best in 1/2 Shade, Dappled Sun & Shade, Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade, or Full Shade with good light levels. However also copes in the extremes of Full Shade or Sun (though it may scorch in Full Sun in hot summer districts).
Can be used as a grass substitute where it is too dark for grass to grow. Does not even need mowing.
Fast grower to a height of 15cm. when in flower. Foliage is a tight-knit, weed suppressing flat mat.
Can be planted between paving stones, or as an eye-catching edge beside a path. Can tolerate light foot traffic.
Will help bind a bank or sloping garden.
Very eye-catching colour filling a feature pot and spilling over the edges.
Hardy, easy & versatile
Ajuga really will give it a go almost anywhere. It is not fussy about soil type, everything from sand to clay, though it does not enjoy being waterlogged for long. Well drained is all it requests. Not fussy about pH and will make a go of it in acid or alkaline lime soils.
Very frost hardy to at least -10C.
Will hang on during periods of dry, and tolerates heat very well.
– Height with flowers: 15cm.
– Width: Approximately 40cm. But will go as far as you want it to cover, and easily weeded out when it gets to the edge of the allocated space.
– Position: Best in 1/2 Shade, Dappled Sun & Shade, Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade, or Full Shade with good light levels. However also copes in the extremes of Full Shade or Sun.
– Soil: Very unfussy. Everything except waterlogged.
– Fragrance: Sadly, no fragrance – it is the only sin.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to at least -10C or more.
– Growth: Hardy evergreen perennial groundcover.
– Beneficial to wildlife: The flowers provide nectar for honey eating native birds, bees, and is also visited by butterflies and moths.
– Beware: Please consult a medical expert before using as a herbal treatment.
– Care: Extremely low maintenance ground cover. No trimming required as it has a naturally neat, tight growth habit. An annual feed may be applied, but Ajuga is not a hungry plant.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Both rabbits and deer tend to treat it with ignore, as it has a bitter astringent taste.
– Origin: There are members of the Ajuga family all around the world, but particularly in Europe, Africa and Asia. So it is truly a hardy and adaptable survivor. Most of the modern garden cultivars are variations on European Ajugas, where their native habitat is in woodland.
– Myths & Legends: Ajuga has gathered a swathe of common names, with most associated with the trumpet shape of the individual flowers in the stacked spire. Bugle, blue bugle, bugleherb, carpetbugle are just some of them. But it is also known as “carpenter’s herb” because it was used in traditional European herbal medicine to quench bleeding. For some people is was considered the sovereign remedy for hangovers! Other traditional European herbal uses was as a tea to treat sore throats and mouth ulcers.