Common lippia

Phyla nodiflora


Common lippia, also known as frogfruit, is a low growing perennial that spreads over the ground with long linear stems to form a dense carpet-type planting. When grown as an unmowed bank plant, it can reach heights of 5-6 inches and have a soft cushion-like habit. When grown as a turf grass substitute, it can be mowed as low as 1 inch. It becomes semi-deciduous and dormant under winter conditions; it grows rapidly during the spring and becomes covered with numerous small purple and white flowers. These flowers are highly attractive to bees.

Common lippia has been planted as a turf grass substitute for many decades where its modest water and maintenance needs provides a neat lawn-like appearance. However, it does not tolerate regular foot traffic and is more of a visual substitute for a lawn than a surface to actively use. This plant is native to both Brazil and parts of the United States, including many parts of California.

Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Spreading, Dense
Growth Rate: Fast
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Purple, Lavender
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: All day sun
Function: California native, Banks, Attracts bees, Lawn substitute
Height: 3 in. – 6 in.