Photo of Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans): Thrives only where it volunteered.

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Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
Jan 28, 2017 1:01 PM CST
Years ago, some of this got into my lawn from the heavy equipment used by a tree cutting service. Ever since I struggled to reduce it there and other areas where it spread. Meanwhile, a few years ago I transplanted a bunch far from the lawn, where I thought it would look good. The photo is from the transplant. Even after a few years, it looks and acts amazingly different between transplant and volunteer. There is quite a lot of each, and the volunteers are in more and more places and all volunteers look the same:

Volunteers have a range of changing leaf colors throughout the season, with various shades of red and green. Transplants have green leaves. Volunteers have tall purple flowers. Transplants have shorter blue flowers. Volunteers' leaves stay green and red long after the spring flowers vanish. Transplants' leaves turn brown and fall off long before the end of summer and are bare ground until next spring. Volunteers send out rapid growing red runners under grass or other plants, then take root in distant points, where leaves spurt upward then lay down on top of surrounding plants smothering them. Transplants need tending to avoid being choked out by grass and never expand.

I'm really sure it is the same plant. Must be a soil difference, combined with my usual jinx that plants I try to grow don't.
[Last edited by jsf67 - Jan 28, 2017 1:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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They could be different a different variety of ajuga, there are lots of them.
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Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
Jan 29, 2017 6:42 AM CST
I know what they looked like before transplant. I transplanted from several places with volunteers to one area where I'm trying to grow them. Then I failed to eliminate the volunteers in each of those source locations. I'm pretty sure the source locations had all expanded by runner rather than seed (so transplants are clones of the ones left behind, rather than just related).
So I have several reasons to be sure it is the same plant.

Maybe the difference is sunlight. All the volunteers are in spots with full sun in parts of the morning, patchy shade (through the tops of distant trees) midday and full shade afternoon. The transplants have full shade in the morning, full sun midday and patchy shade later. The total amount of sun is similar. But other plant descriptions imply they are picky about whether sun is morning vs. other times. But more likely it is a soil difference (the soil everywhere in my yard is acid, but there are likely other differences between locations).
[Last edited by jsf67 - Jan 29, 2017 6:43 AM (+)]
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