I spied this pretty purple weed in the lawn when I was in Portland.
As it turns out, this isn’t necessarily a weed….it’s called Ajuga, and many people grow it intentionally as ground cover. It’s sold in garden centers!
Ajuga is also known as bugleweed. It’s a member of the mint family and spreads by underground runners. It prefers to grow in slightly shaded areas, and can be used as a ground cover in places that are too shady for grass. The flowers, which should appear mid-Spring/Summer, attract pollinators. The leaves stay green year-round.
According to invasiveplantatlas.org, ajuga is listed as an invasive plant in Oregon, Maryland, and West Virginia. I find it odd that it’s not listed as an invasive species in Washington State, too…. I wonder how states decide what plants to classify as invasive?
I also wonder how it got in our yard. We certainly didn’t plant it anywhere…. I have no idea…