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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - March 23, 2007

From: Mansfield, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Phyla nodiflora as a ground cover
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I'm considering using frogfruit in my lawn and between stepping stones. However, I'm concerned about it being invasive. The tree is in the front lawn and don't want it to take over the Bermuda lawn,and the stones are between flower beds. Is it easy to control or will I be battling it like Bermuda?

ANSWER:

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) can be used as an excellent ground cover and is evergreen in warm years and would be a good choice between your stepping stones. It is also evergreen in areas protected from frost. Frogfruit generally is a good nectar plant for butterflies and is the larval food plant for Phaon Crescentspot, Buckeye, and White Peacock butterflies. It is an attractive plant rambling over boulders or the edges of hanging baskets.

 

That said, frogfruit spreads vigorously and you will have to do some maintenance to keep it out of the Bermuda grass. Did I mention Bermuda grass is considered to be an exotic pest in Arkansas, California and Utah. See USDA Plants.


Phyla nodiflora

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

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