Acaena ovalifolia



Habitat: rockery or trough


Soil: gritty, well drained


Height: 5 cm


Flowering: spring


Width: 15 cm



Coming from the southern hemisphere, these plants make mats of trailing stems, with small, rounded, serrated leaves, usually in interesting colours - grey-green, bronze or purplish. The flowers are on short upright stems, and are followed by the hooked seeds, which attach themselves to anything passing by.

Acaena ovalifolia makes a compact, green mat, with distinctive purple-red spines on the flowers and seedheads. It comes from South America, including the Falkland Islands.
1 litre pot £6.00

Acaena - some other suggestions
invisible.gif Acaena buchananii has yellow pom-pom flowers, often partly hidden by its foliage. Works well as low ground cover.
acaena_magellanica_georgiaeaustralis.jpg Acaena magellanica subsp. georgiaeaustralis is very rarely offered. Somewhere in Whitehall there is a door labelled 'Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands'. If you hear the inhabitants talking about the the South Georgia burr, they are not referring the the local accent. With just four permanent residents (which is four more than the South Sandwich Islands can muster), no accent has evolved. The burr is one of an extremely small number of flowering plants from this outpost of the Empire. The most prominent features of the wiry-stemmed plants are the burrs, heads of seeds, which in this case are a rich, chestnut brown. They are spread by adhering to the fur (or more likely feathers in South Georgia) of passers by, and can easily be collected from the socks of anyone who has been there. Is there nothing that we will not do to bring you interesting plants from far-flung places?
invisible.gif Acaena microphylla 'Kupferteppich' is a form with bronze coloured leaves and a small flower, which is followed by a bright red burr.
NZS_3161.jpg Acaena saccaticupula is a New Zealander, making mats of metallic blue-grey foliage on trailing, chestnut brown stems, which contrast well with the deep red/bronze flowers and then seeding burrs, which rise above the mat on short stems.