This plant ties together two places, both important to this garden: Gondwana and Portland. Brass buttons, as Leptinella squalida is commonly called, is native to New Zealand. It is one of about 30 species in this genus that are spread across the southern hemisphere, meaning that it almost certainly originated from Gondwana.
Leptinella squalida is a herbaceous perennial that spreads indefinitely by runners. It is found in open, damp places in lowland to sub-alpine regions of North, South and Stewart Islands. Hardy in zones 4-10, it only grows about half an ½” to 2″ high but spreads to form dense mats of foliage. The most common variety is ‘Platt’s Black’ which was a sport discovered in the garden of Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon. This variety has nearly black leaves with a bright green tip and dark-colored flowers.
The leaves have a delicate, soft texture, fern-like appearance. Each leaf is oval and up to 2″ long. The plant is evergreen in zones 9 and 10. Tolerates light foot traffic.
Button-like yellow flowers in early summer are followed by tiny fruit. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are considered to be particularly ornamental.
Pronunciation: lep-tin-EL-luh SKWA-lee-duh
Species Meaning: Stiff or rough; neglected, dirty
Leptinella squalida is native to New Zealand.
Prefers average moisture in well drained soil. Full sun to part shade.
Propagate by division in spring or fall.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P20112
Found in Tuxedo Lane,
Between the pavers along Tuxedo Lane.
We acquired this plant from Xera Plants.