Pyramidal Bugle. UK Red List -4 

Courtesy  of Anne Burgess  CC BY-SA 3.0 License Taken In Northern Ireland.


In this series UK Red List plants are reviewed. Plants on the UK Red list are plants that are in serious decline and in danger of becoming extinct if conservation measures are  not taken  to preserve the species.  Criteria for addition to the Red List is that the species has declined in by over 50% or more in the last sixty tears or that their distribution has decreased by the same margins. Here we look at the Pyramidal Bugle.

Description of Pyramidal bugle. Ajuga pryamidalis

When this plant is young it can easily be mistaken for its much commoner relative Ajuga repens. or the common bugle.{ see content boxes above click and scroll down to view}. However, there are subtle differences. The leaf-like Bracts on the flowering stem are very hairy. The bracts are pale green but strongly tinged with purple. it grows to the same height as common bugle 30 cm { one foot} high. One of the most distinguishing features is the lack of stolons or runners very common in the common bugle.

The flowers are paler blue and they do not protrude from the extremities of the leaves. The leaves are also much closer together than the those of the Common Bugle  and the plant has a characteristic taper towards the summit which gives the plant its common name. It is also much hairier than the former.

It is now believed that there may only one location left in England for this species. However, in Scotland it is more frequent. 

It is a perennial herbaceous herb which has leaves at its base in a rosette formation, they are stalked and significantly larger than the stem leaves {bracts}. The flowering stem is stiff and erect. The leaf-like bracts are ovate arranged opposite to each other, hairy above and below and slightly wavy at the margins. The bracts get gradually smaller towards the summit of the stem they are always longer than the flowers and become more tinged with purple red near the top.

The calyx of each flower is five lobed and the blue-violet corolla  is a long tube fused and is two lipped. The upper lip is very short and the lower lip is three-lobed. Each flower has for stamens two of which are long and two of which are short. The flowers produce nectar to attract pollinators which are bumblebees and butterflies. They flower from June until August.

The overall hairiness of the bracts protects the flowers from small crawling insects. 

Ajuga pyramidalis. Bank of  Allt Gleann Laoigh.

Courtesy of Stan Campbell  CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Status and conservation actions.

In the UK this species is listed as being a priority species of conservation concern. Actions that are identified by experts include Investigate tolerance of and/or requirement for grazing -timing, intensity and species {and breed} of grazing livestock. obtained by species specific research.

2/- recovery of populations through site-specific management and activate buried seed bank. obtained by species specific management action.

3/-Implement appropriate grazing regimes at and on suitable habitats adjacent to extant sites to achieve  favourable conditions.  Obtained by Priority Habitat Action Plan.

4/- To consider further notifications  to protect key populations if this can not be achieved  by any other means. obtained by species specific legislative action { protection or site designation.

In the UK the plant is classified as a  Declining species and a boreal montane species with a seed based reproduction strategy severely  compromised by over-grazing.

The Future of Ajuga pryamidalis in the UK.

As this is now a priority species a species action plan is currently being implemented. It is hoped that the conservation actions for the plant under the plan will save known sites and create suitable habitat and conditions at suitable sites for the preservation of the species. 

Reuse of images.

The images on this page may be reused. However, the name of the relevant author must be attributed along with the accompanying License.

Associated pages. Click on the relevant content banner at the top of this page.   Scroll down to view.

Red List UK plants-1 Pheasants eye Adonis verna

Red list -Man Orchid

Red list- Ground Pine {coming soon}

All other plants that are featured on this site are grouped together in the content banners above.

Plants via Links. Click on the Links banner at the top of this page. Scroll down to the relevant box,Click this is a direct link to the article{s}, including the series Past and Present Medicinal uses.

Flora via your Search bar. Click on the relevant content banner at the top of this page. Scroll down to the relevant shortened address. Type the shortened address into your search bar. This is a direct link to the article{s}


Thank you for visiting