Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: St Lawrence plant

Posted on by royvickery |

Nora Bennett enquires about St Lawrence plant, which according to Wikipedia is a name for bugle, Ajuga reptans:  ‘Do you know anything about bugle being known as St Lawrence plant?

St Lawrence plant is not listed in the extensive database of ‘local’ plant-names associated with this website, and it appears to be a North American, rather than a British, name.  Any explanations of  the name would be greatly appreciated; please send them to

Comment:  The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (1992) lists seven St Laurence or Lawrences, none of whom appear to have any attributes which might associate them with bugle.  However, bugle has been introduced to North America, where it can become invasive, so it is possible that the name St Lawrence plant refers to the St Lawrence River [RV, May 2021].

Image: bugle cultivated in the garden of the South London Botanical Institute, Tulse Hill, London Borough of Lambeth, May 2021.

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