Ocean primrose covers the ground in tiny blossoms
Description: A beautiful, low-spreading, herbaceous ground cover about a foot in diameter and up to 10 inches tall, with light green foliage and stems and leaves that are fairly succulent. The leaves are arranged radially from the center, giving it a nice shape and a unique appearance. All of the native Lysimachia belong to a family of plants called primroses. They have cute little white flowers about an inch across, arranged on a stalk that protrudes from the rest of the plant. When in bloom, the flowers last several days, and once pollinated, small seed capsules form filled with hundreds of tiny brown seeds.
Although rare in the wild, this indigenous plant is the only native Lysimachia today that occurs at low elevations. It is naturally found in limited populations on coastal cliffs or rocky shorelines on Niihau, Kauai, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii.
Landscape use and care: Lysimachia looks great around large landscaping stones or as a bedding plant. It doesn't spread much (about 1 square foot), so be sure to space accordingly. Few pests are known to bother this plant, but if an infestation does occur, proper application of store-bought pesticides will not harm it. Lysimachia mauritiana is available at Home Depot for a limited time for about $5.
Cultural uses: The flower clusters look great in leis, but unfortunately there are no other known uses for this plant. We don't even know its Hawaiian name.
co-owns Hui Ku Maoli Ola, a native Hawaiian plant nursery, with Matt Schirman. Contact him at 259-6580 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org