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Sprawling horseherb Calyptocarpus vialis

Previously known as:

  • Synedrella vialis
  • Synedrellopsis grisebachii
Phonetic Spelling
kal-ip-toe-KAR-pus VEE-uh-lis
Description

Horseherb is a shade-tolerant ground cover in the Asteraceae (daisy) family that is typically found in woodlands, roadsides, meadows, and disturbed sites. In the US, it is native to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and introduced into many other states.  In non-native locations, it can be grown as an evergreen plant in warmer climates and as a deciduous plant in areas that experience cold winters.  

It withstands foot traffic and mowing well and if your lawn has any shady areas, there is probably Horseherb growing in it. Maintenance is low due to the fact that it can be mowed.  Some use it as a replacement for grass in dry, shady locations where other grasses cannot grow.  For others, it can be seen as a nuisance, competing with your manicured lawn and beds.  Spreading by seed and runners, it can be difficult to eliminate.  It makes an excellent ground cover of sloped locations.  

Planted in locations where there is no good drainage provided can lead to the plant rotting.  Although mature plants are drought tolerant, it should be watered every other week in its first growing season.

Tiny yellow flowers dot the bright green plants from spring to summer with their nectar attracting small butterflies.

Propagation is typically done through root cutting or division.  It can be grown from seed, however, seed is difficult to collect in large quantities.  Commercially, seed is not readily available.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Plant struggle with heavy leaf litter from upper canopy plants.  Spreading by runners and rooting from its stems can cause this plant to spread throughout your garden, becoming quite weedy.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#weedy#salt tolerant#shade garden#lawn alternative#rabbit resistant#fast growing#deer resistant#long bloom time#groundcover#rock garden#disturbed areas#edible leaves#nectar plant fall#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#lawn weed#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#groundcovers that can be mowed#foot traffic tolerant#winter garden#partial shade tolerant#shade flowers#meadows#woodland garden#lawn planting#wet soils intolerant#native#weed#pollinator garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#weedy#salt tolerant#shade garden#lawn alternative#rabbit resistant#fast growing#deer resistant#long bloom time#groundcover#rock garden#disturbed areas#edible leaves#nectar plant fall#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#lawn weed#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#groundcovers that can be mowed#foot traffic tolerant#winter garden#partial shade tolerant#shade flowers#meadows#woodland garden#lawn planting#wet soils intolerant#native#weed#pollinator garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Calyptocarpus
    Species:
    vialis
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as a groundcover.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern U.S.A., Caribbean, Venezuela
    Distribution:
    It can be found in the lower 48 states.
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from flowers attract sulfur and skipper butterflies. Safe for animal consumption.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    The leaves can be eaten by both humans and animals.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    After flowering, a dry, one-seeded fruit will expand, forming a crown of stiff bristles. These aid in the seed dispersal.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny yellow daisy-like flowers bloom from spring to fall or even year-round in frost-free areas.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Single stemmed. The green stems can have fine red stripes and stiff hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Foot Traffic
    Heat
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity
    Pollution
    Rabbits
    Salt
    Problems:
    Weedy