Bronze Beauty is what I think my Aguja (Ajuga reptans) cultivar is after comparing online photos of different cultivars to my plant. This ajuga is two years old, and was picked up at our annual neighborhood plant swap. I think someone was trying to rid themselves of the devil plant because of its spreading characteristics. I wanted something that would grow in the death valley dry brickyard clay otherwise known as soil under my ligustrum shrubs. I also planted some in the rear yard bed where it receives two hours of sun daily.
Ajuga, commonly called Bugleweed, is a member of the mint family, native to Europe and Asia. (We know about mint spreading.) It is an herb, although several sources have differing uses mentioned. It smothers the ground with a thick mat of leaves and is used in Europe as a ground cover for erosion control, although I don't see how with the shallow root system. I am guessing one could walk on this without much damage, (except to your feet.)
Leaves start out green in spring, and turn chocolate purple bronze in the summer. It is grown for its leaves and ground cover abilities, but the iridescent blue spring flowers on 6-inch high (15 cm) stalks scream, especially in large tight clusters.
For The Record:
Heavy clay soil with organic amendments
Light shade with 2 hours of sun
Small amount of fertilizer
Easily propagated and spreads
No major pests or diseases, although some overwatering rot
Blooming: bearded iris, california poppy, salvia, dutch iris, ajuga, geranium