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COTULA squalida

Image of Cotula squalida

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

COTULA squalida

Plant Common Name

Brass Buttons

General Description

A small, creeping perennial with 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.

The leaves are oblong in shape overall, but have many small, curving lobes with teeth on one side that create a feathery appearance. They are bright green and may or may not be covered in tiny hairs. By late spring short stems rise from the mat of leaves, bearing flat-topped, round, yellow-green flowers with many white stamens. Cool weather can turn the leaves shades of burgundy-purple and dry some leaves to beige.

Grow brass buttons in very sharply-drained soils of average fertility in full sun. Since this perennial spreads indefinitely, it is not well suited to the confines of a formal rock garden. Rather, allow it to spread naturally as a groundcover in a gravelly area of the landscape, or as a filler between large patio stones or stepping stones. It tolerates light foot traffic. It will be evergreen in mild winter areas. Large plants develop a "bald spot" in their centers, a sign that it is time to divide them. Selection 'Platt's Black' is regarded for its purplish black foliage.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 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

  • 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

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • 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

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Groundcover, Lawns and Turf

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes