Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’
Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’
Note: Patented Plant #USPP15815: Propagation Restrictions Apply
- Type: Perennial
- Zone: 4 – 9
- Height: 4 – 6 Inches
- Spread: 6 – 24 Inches
- Bloom Time: May to June
- Bloom Description: Violet
- Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
- Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
- Water: Medium
- Maintenance: Low
- Flower: Showy
- Leaf: Colorful
- Tolerates: Rabbit, Deer, Black Walnut
Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils with good drainage, but tolerates moderately dry ones. Will grow in full shade, but best foliage color usually occurs in part-sun locations, at least 3-4 hours of sun per day. Provide good air circulation in hot and humid areas where crown rot is a problem. Divide Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ plants if they become overcrowded. This low-growing ground cover will spread in the garden by stolons to form an attractive, mat-like ground cover. Plants may be cut back to the ground after flowering, if necessary, to rejuvenate the foliage. Space plants 6-9” apart for prompt cover. This patented cultivar that will not come true from seed.
Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ is noted for its (1) dark maroon-purple leaves with scalloped margins, (2) fragrant dark violet flowers, and (3) compact but spreading habit. Leaves are varyingly described as dark maroon-purple to near black, which gets the point across that these leaves are in fact very dark in color. Leaves appear in spreading rosettes that form a 3-4” tall foliage carpet that may spread over time to 36” wide. Tiny, two-lipped, dark violet flowers (typical mint family) appear in spring in flower spikes that rise above the foliage. ‘Black scallop’ was first observed in 1998 as a natural mutation that occurred in an in vitro nursery laboratory planting of Ajuga reptans ‘Braunherz’. It was subsequently isolated, developed and introduced into commerce. U.S. Plant Patent PP15,815 was issued on June 28, 2005.
Crown rot can be a problem, particularly in the humid conditions of the deep South and in heavy soils. Avoid planting in wet, heavy soils, provide good air circulation and divide when clumps become overcrowded. Also avoid planting near perennial beds or lawns where its spreading nature could pose removal problems.
Primary use is as a ground cover. Will fill in large, shady areas where lawns are difficult to establish. May also be planted on banks or slopes, under trees or around shrubs. Can be planted over spring bulbs. appearing in the grass. Good for small spaces, containers and rock gardens.