Information on Bugle

Common Name: Bugle
Scientific Name: Ajuga reptans
Irish Name: Glasair choille
Family Group: Lamiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Bugle could sometimes be confused with:

Bugle, Pyramidal,

Growing in broadleaved woods and on damp grassland, Bugle is a creeping perennial which reaches to about 20cm high.  Its blue-violet flowers (15mm long) are borne in spikes on erect, four-angled stems which are hairy on two opposite sides.  Each flower has a corolla with a tiny upper lip and a long pale-veined lower lip which is divided into four lobes. There are four stamens which protrude from the mouth of the corolla.  The leaves are shiny, ovate and sometimes have a bronze tinge to them, the lower leaves being long stalked.  This is a native plant, blooming in May and June, belonging to the family Lamiaceae. 

I first identified this wildflower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1978 and photographed it near Ferns, Co Wexford in 2009.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

One of the favourite nectar sources of the Dark Green Fritillary, Bugle is also known as Gypsy weed and Thunder-and-Lightning.   

In his 'Complete Herbal' of 1653, Nicholas Culpeper wrote of Ajuga reptans: 'if the virtues of it make you fall in love with it (as they will if you be wise) keep a syrup of it to take inwardly, and an ointment and plaster of it to use outwardly, always by you'.