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Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’     Family: Lamiaceae
(ah-JEW-gah  REP-tanz)

Common name: bugleweed; carpet bugleweed
Zone: 4 – 9 
Height: 3-6 in (7.5-15 cm)   Spread: 6-24 in (15-60 cm)
Aspect: sun; partial shade
Soil: fertile; well-draining
Water: moderate     

Description: An evergreen groundcover with glossy, dark maroon-purple to almost black, scalloped-edged leaves and a dense habit. Short, upright, spikes of dark violet, fragrant flowers four to six inches tall (10 – 15 cm) appear in mid- to late spring.

Special Notes: The genus Ajuga is native to Europe. ‘Black Scallop’ is a mutation of Ajuga reptans ‘Braunherz’, discovered in an in vitro nursery laboratory in 1998 and subsequently isolated to be developed and introduced as a new cultivar. U.S. Plant Patent was issued in June 2005.

‘Black Scallop’ tends to have a more compact habit than some of the other Ajuga cultivars. Plant where it will get more sun for deep, rich foliage colour but plants will require watering more often. In hotter climates, give it a little more shade from the sun.

Propagate by cutting the stolon, or plantlet, growing out from the mother plant to start a new plant. ‘Black Scallop’ does not come true from seed.

Crown rot can be a problem if ajugas are allowed to grow too densely. Divide clumps every few years to thin the planting out. Aphids, slugs, snails and whiteflies can also be occasionally problematic. And while it is not unheard of for cucumber mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus to attack ajugas, there have been no reports of these viruses found on ‘Black Scallop’. However, remove the plants if you see these viruses and bag them for the garbage.

 In our Zone 7a garden: We now have a few patches of ‘Black Scallop’ in our landscape and we love them! Absolutely the best-behaved ajuga to plant in your garden for its dark leaves and dark violet flowers.


Posted on February 3, 2021