Herniaria - Rupture Wort

Herniaria is an unassuming little plant, prostrate and spreading, and no more than three inches high. The leaves are small and smooth. Flowers are insignificant. Historically, it was highly regarded as a treatment for hernia, and was also valued as a cure for various bladder and kidney-related maladies.

Whether for good or ill, Herniaria has fallen into disuse by physicians. Gardeners, however, have discovered less controversial applications. Because it produces an evergreen, practically indestructible mat, it is favored as a ground cover. Foliage turns bronze-red in winter. It's somewhat drought-tolerant, so is suitable for xeriscaping. Because it's very tolerant of foot traffic, Herniaria makes a wonderful lawn substitute. It's also beautiful cascading over walls. Herniaria grows at a reasonable rate, covering ground as a good ground cover should, but is easy to control. The mat is right dense, so tends to smother weeds very effectively. Some gardeners collect plants because of their special interests. Herniaria would be a good choice for medicinal herb gardens.

To learn more, read our article, Rupture Wort.

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