#TeachingTuesday: Mazus

#TeachingTuesday: Mazus

By Myatt Landscaping, Posted in
April 21, 2020

#TeachingTuesday: Mazus

Mazus (Mazus reptans), also known as cupflower or creeping mazus, is a low-growing, creeping groundcover native to the Himalayas. The fine foliage is an attractive bright green, and it blooms in the summer with tiny lavender flowers.  It’s a very popular groundcover because it thrives in full sun (while many groundcovers like shade) and tolerates wet, soggy soils (which would rot most grasses).  It does spread quite rapidly, so you don’t need too many plants to fill an area, but the edges may need to be managed to keep it from spreading where it isn’t wanted!  Although Mazus can spread rather enthusiastically in a garden setting, it does not become invasive and spread or cause damage to natural areas.

It is also quite resilient and can tolerate some foot traffic, making it an ideal turf alternative for wetter areas.  Another added bonus is that deer don’t typically eat it—great news for those of us living near wooded areas with lots of wildlife!

Here are a few design ideas for integrating mazus into your landscape:

  • In between stepping stones in a pathway
  • Around boulders or gravelly areas in a rock garden
  • Mix with wet soil-tolerant shrubs and perennials in a boggy part of your garden where nothing else will grow (other plants could include Virginia sweetspire, buttonbush, inkberry, anisetree, swamp hibiscus, swamp milkweed, lobelia, turtlehead, and native sedges)
  • Underplant it with bulbs that bloom in different times of the year, like crocus, daffodils, alliums and rain lilies (just make sure the soil isn’t too wet for this idea, as most bulbs will rot in very wet soils)

Pictured: mazus pathway

ID Tips

  • The bright green leaves are small and spatula-shaped, with blunt teeth along the edges.
  • The plants spread by creeping stems that drop roots as they go.
  • The small purple flowers have two petals, one very small and one larger and shaped like a tongue with 3 lobes. The tongue-shaped petal has two white stripes in the center covered with yellow to golden-brown spots. There is also a white variety available.