Ground Covers

Lippia

Phyla canescens

Introduced as a lawn species and once used to stabilise soil on banks of irrigation canals and around weirs. Overruns native vegetation, and is capable of suppressing the growth of neighbouring plants.
  • Family Verbenaceae
  • Origin Americas from California to Argentina and Chile
  • Habit Hardy, mat forming, perennial herb with stems that root at nodes.
  • Leaves Ovate, with blunt short teeth; 0.5–3 cm long, 2–10 mm wide, without hairs or with short dense hairs; leaf stalk absent or short.
  • Flowers Inflorescence a dense short cylindrical to globe-shaped spike of tubular flowers, on a stalk which is 1–6.5 cm long and usually much longer than leaves at the stalk base; petals usually lilac or pink. Flower tubes 2–3 mm long. Spring to late autumn.
  • Fruit Ellpisoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long.
  • Roots Dense and mat forming.
  • Dispersal Seed and fragments spread by water, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
  • Control Foliar spray, pasture improvement techniques.

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