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Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

Posted by girlndocs 8 WA (My Page) on
Wed, May 28, 08 at 3:14

Hi all,

I'm filling a bed with some lime-green foliage accents and I thought some purplish groundcovers would be just the thing.

Some of the bed is in full sun and some of it is in part shade; the soil is good and kept fairly moist but not soggy. I have a rose, salvias, geranium, salix purpurea (in the wettest section, by the downspout), and hosta.

I like finer-textured groundcovers, in most cases, that grow around other plants and form a "carpet" without competing. The only two purple species that spring to mind are New Zealand Brass Buttons (have that, what a cool plant) and ajuga (can anyone recommend the purplest ajugas?). Any other ideas?



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

Lamium has a purpurea variety that has purple leaves, but it is finicky compared to ajuga. I have included a website that details how to propagate perennials to expand your garden bed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

RE: Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

Lamium purpurea is a common weed and an annual to boot, so don't plant that! And only the newest growth is tinged purple, otherwise it is green. A couple of the darkest leafed ajugas are 'Mahogany' or 'Chocolate Chip' but you might be able to determine from the cultivar name that they're more of a deep bronze color rather than a true purple or burgundy.

Look for Viola labradorica for a good purple leaf for shade, but this is a bit of thug and will reseed rampantly. Or in the sunniest areas, Acaena inermis 'Purpurea' or purple bidibidi would look great against chartreuse - it is a plummy gray color.

Personally, I think the Cotula squallida 'Platt's Black' (NZ brass buttons) is a great groundcover - looks stunning against chartreuse and will take sun or shade....but it's not really purple :-))

RE: Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

I just though of another possibility that would look gorgeous with chartreuse foliage! Trifolium 'Dark Dancer' is a well-behaved, ornamental groundcover clover with dark burgundy foliage edged in lime green! I've grown a patch in my shade garden for years and the spread is modest but ongoing. Mostly evergreen in our climate as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trifolium 'Dark Dancer'

RE: Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

Gack! "Lamium purpurea" AKA Creeping Charlie? Uh, no. I have an alley full of that stuff already.

I completely forgot about Labrador violet. It's kind of a thug but it can't be any worse than V. odorata, can it? I might have a spot for it, if it doesn't crowd other things out, and I would think that it's small enough and my other stuff is big enough for it not to do that.

Pretty trifolium. Like the Acaena too.

Gardengal, I'm blowing you a raspberry. Pthhhhhhbbbtttttt! New Zealand Brass Buttons look purple to me. I always think they look like some cute-but-vaguely-disturbing alien species, tho.


RE: Purple-foliaged groundcover for perennial bed

Acaena inermis 'Purpurea' has very delicate purple leaves and spreads well. Mine is in sun to part shade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acaena

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