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DYMONDIA margaretae

Image of Dymondia margaretae

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

DYMONDIA margaretae

Plant Common Name

Silver Carpet

General Description

The dense mat of gray-green and white foliage created by silver carpet is its most notable feature. In its native South Africa, this low, mat-forming perennial naturally resides in the Western Cape Province of Southern Overberg. There it can be found along sandy coastal flats. It withstands both heat and drought, so it has quickly become a popular garden plant in areas with drier landscapes, like the American southwest. Its short, narrow leaves are gray-green above and downy white underneath. Yellow daisies appear nestled among the leaves in summertime. Fluffy white seeds follow that are dispersed by wind.

Silver carpet is best planted in sites with full sun and well-drained, sandy, slightly alkaline soils, though it is also known to also grow well in loam. Though low-growing on the surface, it develops deep, fibrous roots that enable it to take up water better when it becomes limited. This xeric groundcover is not terribly fast growing, so it's best planted over an area as plugs. Newly planted specimens always require extra water and care until well-established.

Mats can handle light to moderate foot traffic if planted around stepping stones. Silver carpet looks its best when planted along the base of other larger drought tolerant plants to create a living mulch. It is also ideal for any rockery where growing conditions become hot and dry. Excessive winter rainfall or heavy foot traffic can cause dead spots in the foliage mat.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2"-3" / 5.1cm - 7.6cm

  • Width

    16"-20" / 40.6cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Gray Green, Silver

  • 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, Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No