Saxapahaw, NC

The Flower of Carolina

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  • Product Info

    Common Elephants Foot (Elephantopus tomentosus)
    Aster Family
    This interesting little plant is underrated as a groundcover. Large basal leaves lay flush to the ground and prevent any weeds from germinating. This, of course, also prevents desirable plants from germinating well, so it is best suited for large and/or wild areas. It’s not picky about soil or light and tends to pop up in unexpected places. Deer will forage on flowering stalks, but basal leaves are left largely untouched due to inaccessibility. Bright purple flowers begin blooming in late summer and look great planted in mass.

    Blooms: Purple, 3-4 weeks, Aug-Sept
    Leaves: Large, hairy basal leaves of varying sizes lay flush to the ground–no leaves on flowering stalk
    Height: 1-2’
    Space: 12-18”
    Soil: Average, dry, moist, tolerate poor soil
    Exposure: Full sun to Part shade
    Fauna: Various bees, flies, small butterflies
    Seeds: Stiff, spiky seed heads
    Deer Resistance: Low
    Zone: 7-10?
    Native Status: NC native, common in the Piedmont and Sandhills, rare in the Mountains
    Provenance: NC, seed grown