Groundcover Perennial

Verbena rigida (Syn. Glandularia rigida) Sandpaper Verbena

Ruler icon up to 1 ft. high x 2-4 ft. wide

Sun icon Full to part sun

Thermometer icon USDA zones 9-11

Iridescent purple blooms on evergreen groundcover. These are the ultimate filler plants. They spread by rhizomes in moist, loose soils sending up square stems with rough textured, long, half inch wide serrated leaves. The foliage is denser at the base and becomes more sparse up each stem. Blooms are clusters of small individual flowers of dark but iridescent purple that glow bright in any landscape. These attention grabbers can be mixed in with other shrubs, bold accents, to soften hardscapes or blended with similar perennials. They do well in containers or raised planters, but don’t spill as much as other types of Verbena, instead their stems stand more erect for some commanding attention. Cut them back virtually to the ground after blooming, or to remove summer haggard leaves. Low water use most of the year, but they will respond nicely with moderate regular water during the hottest months in our low deserts.

Verbena tenuisecta (Syn. Glandularia pulchella) Moss Verbena

Ruler icon up to 6 inches high x 2-3 ft. wide

Sun icon Full to part sun

Thermometer icon USDA zones 9-11

Fast growing long-blooming groundcover. Durable herbaceous groundcover the lends itself to many uses. Soft, divided small leaves cover bright green square stems with flower clusters of bright purple above the foliage most of the year in low deserts or coastal landscapes. Easy-to-cultivate and care for these evergreen groundcovers can spill out of pots, raised beds or over slopes. Their lacy foliage complements almost any other wide leafed shrubs or bold accent plants. Like other Verbenas, they can be used to soften hardscape elements like boulders or short accent walls. Provide them with moderate water during hottest summer months and give them light trimming to remove spent blooms toward the end of summer to keep them looking fresh.

Wedelia trilobata (Syn. Sphagneticola trilobata) Yellow Dot

Ruler icon up to 1 ft. high x 6+ ft. wide

Sun icon Full to part sun

Thermometer icon USDA zones 9-11

Rapid growing durable flowering groundcover. These utilitarian, evergreen herbaceous groundcovers are adaptable to low desert heat and sun, all while keeping their deep green lush appearance. Bright yellow daisy blooms form sporadically above the foliage virtually all summer long. They work well for slopes and erosion control, as well as raised beds, containers or any open space that requires some lush greenery. They grow fast and do spread by rooting at nodes that touch the ground with moist soil, so give them room. They can be cut back to be keep them off walks or driveways, but they start to mound up taller, becoming sub-shrubs rather than a flat groundcover if they must be trimmed often. Although their leaves have a glossy tint, they do have a sandpaper texture, which can cause some skin irritation when handled.

Zephyranthes candida White Rain Lily

Ruler icon up to 12 in. high x 1-2 ft. wide

Sun icon Part to full sun

Thermometer icon USDA zones 5-11

Dainty white crocus-like blooms above grassy foliage. These persistent perennial plants from bulbs form well-behaved clumps of short, green grass-like leaves that look similar to chives. In the Amaryllidaceae family, they can flower from fall to spring with evergreen foliage all season, but they do have the capacity to go summer dormant if they are off of regular water for a period of time. The six flower petals are bright white, 2-3 inches long and slightly pointed forming an open, cup shape. Rain lilies are good for mass plantings, borders, containers, raised beds or any small spaces or strips that may otherwise go unnoticed. They are not aggressive, and do not appreciate foot traffic, but they are tough, quite adaptable and require little to no maintenance. Their common name refers to their natural habit to go summer dormant, but then pop up to surprise when monsoon rain showers arrive in late summer to autumn.