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Scientific: Myoporum parvifolium
Common: no unique common name in the United States, most just refer to it as "myoporum" or "creeping myoporum". However, it's called 'Creeping Boobialla' in Australia.
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Origin: Southwest Asia

Pronounciation: My-o-POR-um par-vi-FOL-ee-um

Hardiness zones
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Mesic ground cover, lawn substitute for sun or shade.

Form & Character: Prostrate, spreading, green, and more green...

Growth Habit: Evergreen, woody, relatively short-lived broadleaf perennial ground cover, fast growing to 18-inches tall by 8 to 15 feet in diameter. Forms adventitious roots on stolon-like, prostrate branches.

Foliage/Texture: Small, lanceolate and sessile leaves to 1-inch long, bright green and fleshy on green and 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 brief carpet of cream-white flowers during April.

Temperature: Heat tolerant to 115oF and cold hardy to 23oF.

Light: Partial to full sun is best.


Watering: Some drought tolerance, but applications of infrequent, regular water is required in desert landscapes.

Pruning: Because of its raipd growth (especially when irrigated), head back to control spread. Might require partial or complete removal after 5 to 10 years because of its tendency to aquire layers of undercanopy woody stems.

Propagation: Easily 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 its brittle succulent stems. Variety prostratum and the cultivar 'Fine leaf form' are more compact and refined in appearance and are great selections for raised planters where they can trail over walls or as tight, compact ground covers.

Historical Perspectives: Prostrate myoporum was once a popular Phoenix ground cover in the 1980s and early 1990s. Today, it's rarely seen or used as a mesic ground cover lawn substitute. Local municipalities (in the Phoenix area) often claim it 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.