Ajuga, Bugle, Bugleweed, Carpet Bugle 'Valfredda'

Ajuga reptans

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ajuga (a-JOO-guh) (Info)
Species: reptans (REP-tanz) (Info)
Cultivar: Valfredda
Additional cultivar information:(aka Chocolate Chip)
Synonym:Ajuga x tenorii




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:



under 6 in. (15 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Clayton, California

Fairfield, California

HOOPA, California

Ontario, California

Walnut Creek, California

Broomfield, Colorado

Englewood, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Key West, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Dallas, Georgia

Algonquin, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois(2 reports)

Machesney Park, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Saint Charles, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Petersburg, Indiana

Ankeny, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Ewing, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Deridder, Louisiana

Laurel, Maryland

Foxboro, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Big Bay, Michigan

Port Huron, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Eveleth, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lees Summit, Missouri

Maryland Heights, Missouri

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Greenfield, New Hampshire

Jersey City, New Jersey

Dunkirk, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Greenville, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Pawnee, Oklahoma

Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Milford, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania

, Saskatchewan

Conway, South Carolina

Elgin, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Baytown, Texas

Belton, Texas

Burleson, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

South Hill, Washington

Cameron, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 1, 2021, Anton15 from Hong Kong,
Hong Kong wrote:

So far, so good. I bought a couple of these A. tenorii as "chocolate chip. Valfredda is not A. reptans by the way that has a much larger rounder leaf and is a much larger plant. Valfredda is a different species of Aguja, it's A. tenorii with longish but small narrow leaf. The leaves are also more upright than reptans which is a pretty flat rosette.

Anyway the ones I bought had their roots wrapped and tied with nylon fishing line in a ball of sphagnum moss sold as a sort of fairy garden bonsai in flower. The tiny blue spikes of flowers enchanted me.

I planted the whole ball after removing the fishing line. It has taken off much to my surprise. I know sphagnum moss acts like a fungicide and keeps things dandy so maybe that's it as we are in the very wet tropi... read more


On Apr 18, 2015, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a pretty plant but it does not like its roots to be disturbed in the early spring. I loosened the soil around it and almost killed it. Who would have known????


On Apr 6, 2012, MeganMM from Ontario, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is an odd little grower for me. We bought our house a year ago and found tiny clumps of this growing in the lawn. We decided to leave most it and just mowed (push reel mower) over it from April until November. I transplanted a few specimens into a new bed I put in directly after moving in. The transplants get part shade and have not died, but also have not grown much. They have never flowered. I dug up the remainder of the ajuga in the lawn this past February and put them into a casserole dish full of water. I meant to plant the specimens immediately, but ran out of time. The dish has now been sitting under the covered patio (zero hours of sun per day) and the ajuga is blooming for the first time ever. I keep an eye on the water and make sure to keep the roots covered, but it... read more


On May 3, 2011, Andrea_F from Ottawa, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:

Based on the glowing reports of this plant, I was expecting to love it, and I probably would have -- if I had given it a whole lot more space! Within a single growing season, it has multiplied from four small plugs to a vast mat of thick, homogenously green foliage that no longer displays the lovely brown variegation of the originals. The flowers at initial bloom are pretty and abundant, but they quickly degenerate into spindly, ratty-looking stalks, and then the foliage goes crazy and starts sticking up all over the place as well. I think this plant would be fabulous in a larger area where uncontrolled growth was desirable, but for my purposes it has been a disappointment.


On Oct 2, 2010, Crit from Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought one little plant one spring because I thought it was pretty. it was planted in a well drained garden soil in a mostly shady bed. There was spotty sun though the branches/leaves on the trees. When I moved, I dug up a few of the starts. I now have it planted in a bed with the same type of light, but a very heavy clay soil. It even thrives in that! I just love this little guy!


On Jan 27, 2009, StolenMoments from Petersburg, IN wrote:

Love, love, love this plant as an under planting with hydrengeas. It is a good contrast with the dark leaves and the spring blue flowers are charming. I do clean mine up a bit after flowering, but it is a very neat-weed stopping-easy to divide-lovely plant. Great pass-along plant too, will handle abuse and still keep thriving.


On Dec 27, 2007, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I purchased this to cover a specific area that gets way too much water from the gutters and was all sandy & rocky-it has grown like a champ and has the prettiest chocolate & dark green variegated coloring that looks nice with the purplish flowers in the spring-can't wait for it to spread more!! Will post pics in the spring


On Jun 24, 2006, GeorgiaJo from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Bought one small plant from a nursery late last summer but never got in planted and it got real rootbound. So i divided it into six small pots and kept it in my minimally heated greenhouse all winter. Planted it in the spring and it just took off! Beautiful, easy groundcover.


On Feb 9, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A very cute little Ajuga, also called Dwarf Bugleweed. It spreads quickly and can take some foot traffic. My information says it is hardy in zones 3-10. Blooms in May in my garden.


On Mar 28, 2005, PerryPost from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

In Minneapolis Zone 4

Valfredda tends to have some central rot issues from our wet spring weather but it quickly refills into a nice tight clump. See my photo of this plant... several years in this garden and on wet springs the center dies back but the edges quickly fill back in and continue spreading outward, though slowly and more compact by comparison to other ajugas. Flowers in the cooler spring and fall weather here.

EXTREMELY easy to propagate. The tiniest little offset or single division will quickly grow into a 3 to 6 inch clump within a growing season when planted in moist loamy soil.

Have had much success in full sun or shade.
One of my favorites.


On Aug 20, 2004, autumnleigh from Portland, OR wrote:

Portland, Oregon. I have only had this little charmer for a year but I love it. I have it in full sun in deep loamy well draining soil and I water it well every third day. It is low to the ground and is beautiful even when not in bloom. I have moved some around and they are shallow rooted and very easy to manipulate if you want to control their cover. Becomes very dark and dense and is a beautiful contrast for yellow verigated plants. A winner in my book!


On Nov 12, 2003, scrivdom from Houston, TX wrote:

I've had great success with this groundcover here in the brutal Houston, Texas environment. It has survived my 'fit and forget', 'trial and failure' style of gardening. It has thrived in a south facing bed with varied shade. Very happy in shade and partial shade but struggles a bit where receiving a lot of the brutal texan sun. However, seldom gets extra water from me and has effectively tolerated some significant dry spells. Have managed to cover a large area, starting with just 6 plants by splitting at regular intervals within just two years.


On Sep 13, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

If you didn't like your mother's or grandmother's Ajuga, you will love this one. Tiny leaves, great "chocolate" colored leaves. Grows quickly and gives a fine textured groundcover for underplanting just about anything.

Needs SUN to maintain its chocolate coloring! Drought tolerant once established.


On Jan 11, 2003, Baa wrote:

This cultivar was discovered at the Valfredda Nursery in Italy and was marketed as 'Chocolate Chip' for a couple of years.

Has rosettes of oblong deep green leaves that first emerge as a brown-purple colour. Bears spikes of light blue, two lipped flowers.

Flowers April - June

Loves a well drained but slightly moist soil in light or partial shade, the leaves will burn in full sun.

This cultivar has smaller leaves and rosettes than other cultivars and suits an alpine garden without becoming a big problem. It also requires drier soil than the other cultivars as the rosettesw rot easily when it's damp.


On Apr 2, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Spreading, miniature chocolate foliage with shining, lacy blue flowers. A true natural dwarf. Shade to sun.