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Ajuga australis

This species works well in a cottage or woodland garden. Plants prefer semi shade but will tolerate full sun and extended dry periods once established. It is also tolerant of at least moderate frosts and will flourish in a range of soils except those which are very poorly drained.

It belongs to the same family as many of the culinary herbs including mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano. If you look closely at the flowers you will see that they are very similar to these herbs, only much bigger. The flowers are also very attractive to native bees and other insects and so will encourage pollinators to your garden.

Traditionally, Aboriginal people used it for medicinal purposes. The bruised plant was infused in hot water and used to bathe sores and boils and the leaves have reportedly been used as a salve for wounds.

Common nameaustral bugle
Scientific nameAjuga australis R.Br.

Genus: Probably from the Greek, a, no; zugon, yoke; referring to the calyx and lobes being equal

Species: From the Latin for southern, referring to the distribution

DistributionWidespread in southern and eastern Australia.
Native habitatOccurs in a range of soils and habitats from coastal forests to the dry, mallee country.
DescriptionA small, perennial herb with a basal rosette of leaves and soft, erect stems. The leaves are velvety, toothed and decrease in size towards the flowers spikes. The flowers are usually deep blue or purple but pink and white forms are also known.
Flowering/fruitingGenerally flowers in spring and summer.
Location in gardenAround the Fruit Loop, at the Woodland Picnic Area and in the deconstructed woodland beds of PlantBank.
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