Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fantastic hardy native groundcover

Some people consider horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis) a weed, but I think it's an amazing groundcover. It thrives in sun or shade (although it's not crazy about full sun all the time), doesn't grow tall but stands up to being mowed or trampled on, transplants easily, and doesn't require much water. Its springtime little yellow flowers are pretty, too, which is one of the reasons I've chosen so many other purple-blooming plants for contrast. Also, bees and butterflies seem particularly attracted to blue/purple blooms. A good thing!

We have worked long and hard to create a xeriscaped front yard--it's more like a huge drought-tolerant garden than a typical front yard--with no grass to mow
, and horseherb is our primary groundcover. We're now working on spreading the horseherb in the back yard near the veggie beds, too. Someday there will be no pesky grass back there either.


Anonymous said...

I have this growing wild in my yard,and I agree that it is great under thick trees, however, when my dogs eat it, and they seem to love it, they get pretty sick with gastritis. They have vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes bloody diarrhea. They are small dogs <20 pounds. I keep them leased and away from it when they are out of the house.

Connie in South Texas

Iris said...

That's good to know, Connie. My dog's around 45 pounds and I've never noticed her eating the horseherb, but she sure loved eating the alfalfa hay I had left over from mulching the veggie beds.