These perennials and annuals are natives of Europe and form rosettes of colorful foliage. The commonly cultivated kinds are perennials. A. reptans atropurpurea has oblong to spoon-shaped, dark bronze-purple leaves. Its small, two-lipped flowers are tubular and borne in short, whorled spikes in the spring; they are colored blue, occasionally pink or white. It grows up to 6 inches high and spreads up to 3 feet. A. reptans multicolor has spoon-shaped leaves colored dark green marked with pink and cream. The flowers look like those of A. reptans atropurpurea. This plant grows up to 5 inches high with an 18-inch spread.
These plants can live in sun or partial shade and most soil that is moist and well drained. A. reptans atropurpurea grows best and spreads freely in fertile, moist soil. Ajuga are great plants for border edging and as a ground covering beneath shrubs and robust perennials.
They may be divided in the spring.