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COTULA squalida 'Platt's Black'

Image of Cotula squalida 'Platt's Black'

James Burghardt

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

COTULA squalida 'Platt's Black'

Plant Common Name

Brass Buttons

General Description

A small, creeping perennial with purple-black feathery foliage, brass buttons produces button-like yellow-green flowers in late spring and early summer. Native to the gritty soils in subalpine areas of New Zealand, it will spread indefinitely once established and can be quite hardy if given the right growing environment.

The leaves are oblong in shape but have many small, curved lobes with teeth that create a feathery appearance. Newly emerged growth is pale green and matures to deep, purplish black and may or may not be covered in tiny hairs. By late spring, short stems rise from the mat of leaves, topped with flat, round, yellow-green flowers with many white stamens. In cool weather, the foliage colors tend to be more subdued shades of drab black.

Grow 'Platt's Black' in full sun and very sharply-drained soil with average fertility. Since this perennial spreads indefinitely, it is not well-suited to the confines of a formal rock garden. It is better planted as a groundcover for open, gravelly spots or as filler between large stepping stones, though it only tolerates light foot traffic. Brass buttons is evergreen where winters are mild, but tends to develop bald spots in their centers. This is usually fixed by division and replanting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    5'-7' / 1.5m - 2.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    New Zealand

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Purple, Light Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Black

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Purple, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Purple, Dark Green, Sandy Brown, Black

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Edging, Groundcover

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No