Pronounciation: My-o-POR-um par-vi-FOL-ee-um
Landscape Use: Mesic ground cover for sun or shade.
Form & Character: Green, and more green...
Growth Habit: Relatively short-lived, evergreen perennial ground cover, fast growing to 18 inches inches high by 8 to 15 feet in diameter. Forms adventitious roots on stolon-like, prostrate branches. Older plants wood producing.
Foliage/texture: Small, lanceolate and sessile leaves, to 1 inch long, leaves bright green and fleshy on fleshy, brittle, well-branched stems; medium fine texture.
Flowers & fruits: Profuse, small cream-white flowers arising from axillary flower buds; fruit are very small purple berries.
Seasonal color: A carpet of cream-white flowers in April.
Temperature: Hardy to 23oF.
Light: Partial to full sun is best.
Soil: MUST be WELL DRAINED!
Watering: Some drought tolerance, but applications of infrequent, regular water best.
Pruning: Because it's a rapid spreader, head back to limit spread. May require partial or complete removal after 5 to 10 years because of a tendency to buildup of under canopy woody material.
Propagation: Easy rooted from succulent softwood stem cuttings or layering. 'Stoloniferous' stems (stems that trail along the ground) will often produce adventitious roots in the landscape unless myoporum is planted in gravel covered landscape beds with drip irrigation.
Disease and pests: Spider mites, chocolate root rot
Additional comments: Prostrate myoporum attracts bees when in flower. This prostrate ground cover will NOT tolerate foot traffic because of it's brittle succulent stems. Prostrate myoporum was once a popular Phoenix ground cover in the 1980s and early 1990s. Today, it's rarely seen used as a mesic ground cover lawn substitute. Locally (in the Phoenix area), it is often claimed to be a low water use plant, but it is not. It is however a plant for water conservation in the more Mediterranean climate of southern California. Variety prostratum is more compact and refined in appearance and is great for raised planters where is can trail over walls.