Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Phyla nodiflora

Texas frogfruit, Turkey tangle fogfruit, Frogfruit

Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Texas Frogfruit can be used as an excellent ground cover and is evergreen in warm years. It is also evergreen in areas protected from frost. It spreads vigorously. Frogfruit generally is a good nectar plant for butterflies. It is an attractive plant rambling over boulders or the edges of hanging baskets. It also can tolerate drought and flooding.

This species is a member of the verbena family (family Verbenaceae), which includes about 75 genera and 3,000 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees, mostly of tropical and warm temperate regions. Among them, teak is a highly prized furniture wood, and Vervain, Lantana, Lippia or Frog Fruit, and Chase Tree or Vitex are grown as ornamentals.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Size Notes: 3-6 inches
Leaf: Green, with reddish or purplish tinge in cold winters
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AZ , AR , CA , FL , GA , HI , KS , KY , LA , MD , MS , MO , NV , NM , NC , OK , OR , PA , SC , TX , UT , VA
Native Distribution: Southern half of the US to the tropics.
Native Habitat: Anywhere from ditches and roadways to beaches and fields.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone. Poor drainage and saline soils okay.
Conditions Comments: Tolerates drought and flooding. Will go dormant during hard winters.


Use Ornamental: A great groundcover for full sun and part shade areas, with trailing foliage and charming, mini-verbena-like flowers. Would also do well as a pot plant.
Use Wildlife: Attracts numerous insect pollinators.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Phaon Crescentspot, Buckeye, and White Peacock butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Phyla nodiflora is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Phaon Crescent
(Phyciodes phaon)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
White Peacock
(Anartia jatrophae)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2009-03-09