This Months: Plant In Profile

Scleranthus biflorus is a mound growing native ground cover commonly found in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and New Zealand.  The attractive bright green cushion-like perennial grows only a few cm’s high and has a dense spread of approximately 40cm.

The ‘moss-like’ plant is suitable when planted as a border, between steppers or within a rocky site either singly or in a group where it is allowed to mould itself to fit within crevices or cling to surfaces.  The tactile fine tipped rigid leaves of the S.biflorus extend approximately .5-1cm long creating a dense carpet.  A display of petal-less yellow/green flowers is produced during the summer along with fruit in the form of a single-seeded hardened nutlet.

Full sun and well drained soil will ensure the S. biflorus will grow successfully although relatively slowly.  Generally the S.biflorus will require very little maintenance, although in the dryer periods, it will benefit from regular watering.  Once established the plants can be easily divided and replanted from the divisions or seed.

S.biflorous was popular in faux Japanese gardens around the 1990’s.  It will probably back in Vogue in about 5 years time!