Thursday, May 29, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold'

For the last month or more, every time I sit on the living room couch and look out the window, I've seen a mass of bright yellow in the backyard border.  Much of this comes from Achillea 'Moonshine' but recently Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold' has added an echo at the edge of the border.

Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold' is in the foreground



Attracted by the foliage, I put in 3 of these plants, also called "Martian Moondrops," last summer. Rhizomes spread 12 inches (30 cm) or more to form an evergreen, gray-green ground covering mat less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall.  Pretty as the foliage is, the yellow button flowers that sit atop wiry stems averaging 5 inches (12.7 cm) tall add a nice quirky element to the mix.  Regular dead-heading extends the bloom period.




While the flowers of 'Tiffendell Gold' are about half and inch (1.27 cm) in diameter, I have another variety, Cotula lineariloba 'Big Yellow Moon,' that produces flowers an inch (2.54 cm) in size.  The foliage of this plant is similar but its spread is said to be far greater.  Reportedly, it can grow up to 3 feet (.91 m) wide.  Mine spread rapidly since it was planted early this year, although it has developed a hole at its center along the way.

Cotula lineariloba 'Big Yellow Moon' has larger flowers and a broader spread but requires more water



Both plants will grow in full sun to partial shade but on-line sources suggest that 'Tiffendell Gold' is more cold hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -20F (-28.8C), as well as drought tolerant.  Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold' is my favorite plant this week and my contribution to the meme sponsored by Loree at danger garden.  You can see Loree's favorite and find links to other gardeners' selection by clicking here.

19 comments:

  1. Such a cute, low ground cover, and evergreen to boot! The flowers look like little suns floating above the leaves. I love the combination of blue and yellow you've made here. Funny, I've been admiring the same color combo in my garden and chose to highlight the yellow one this week.

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    1. Yellow and blue is one of my very favorite combinations. Frankly, it's a little surprising that the whole garden isn't dominated by those 2 colors.

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  2. Such a cute plant, just as cute as the one we're more familiar with which is Cotula hispida

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    1. I looked up C. hispida. It looks very similar.

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  3. "Martian Moondrops"!!!!! I love that, and they are terribly cute. And cold hardy, drought tolerant, what's not to love...

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    1. Maybe the plant retailers are getting saavy about the pull associated with plant names - who could ignore something called "Martian Moondrops" even when not in bloom?

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  4. I don't recognise the name but I do recognise the plant. I wonder if they are called something else over here. Must look into that.
    They are fascinating little flowers aren't they. They do add a quirkness and look super with the blue of the lobelia (?) Gorgeous border Kris.

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    1. Yes, there's Lobelia and Salvia 'Mystic Spires' between the Cotula and the yellow Achillea. There's some Geranium ('Brookside,' I think) in there too but it's not doing much at the moment - too hot, probably.

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  5. It is the first time I see one of those.
    Cute!
    Best regards
    Mariana
    Mariana

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    1. Cute is the best way to describe the 'Tiffendell Gold,' Mariana!

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  6. I love the little buttons of Cotula. I tried growing some in a pot but it han' t worked because the plant died off in the centre and looked unsightly. Yours looks lovely, specially with the blue. Is it Lobelia?

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    1. I can already see that die off in the center with the C. linearifolia and it hasn't been in the ground as long as 'Tiffendell Gold.' Hopefully, the smaller-flowered version won't show the same weakness over time. Yes, there's Lobelia, as well as Salvia 'Mystic Spires,' around the 'Tiffendell Gold.'

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  7. Such a long period without rain how do you do that with such a fine garden you have!
    Understand that you have drought-resistant plants but new planting must have water first year.
    Do you store water in tanks?
    We have had rain now and it was needed, well now that the vegetable seeds should be sown.
    Mariana

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    1. I have an irrigation system for most of the garden but I cut back on the water when our state governor called for voluntary restrictions in response to our current drought. I have one rain barrel and plan to get more.

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  8. How can anyone dislike a plant called "Martian Moon Drops"?

    Drop a nice decorative stone in the bald spot and no one will notice?

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  9. They do look a bit like spaceships, floating above the foliage – very pretty.
    And they go so well together with the blue, my favourite colour combination.

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    1. The yellow-blue combination is my favorite as well, Helene. And the flowers do float nicely above the foliage, waving a bit in the wind.

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  10. That's really lovely, I'd really like to be able to find this. It looks the perfect groundcover, does it stay green all winter?

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