Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Anemopsis californica (photo courtesy of J. S. Sira/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary)
Anemopsis californica (photo courtesy of J. S. Sira/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary)

Click to Enlarge

Zones 4-24, H1
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Anemopsis californica

Yerba Mansa

Native to wetlands of the southwestern U.S. and adjacent areas of Mexico. This vigorously spreading, low-growing perennial is a good choice for planting alongside a stream or pond; beneath a moisture-loving tree; or in a low, wet part of the garden. Tolerates alkaline and salty soils. Leaves and roots are used as a traditional medicine to treat a variety of ills.

Plants grow about 1 ft. tall and spread at least 2–3 ft. wide, eventually forming large, dense colonies. Upright stems hold thick, fleshy, deep green leaves 2–6 in. long; foliage has a strong, spicy, musty scent that is detectable from a distance on warm days. In late spring or summer, erect flower spikes rise just above the foliage mass, each topped with a conelike inflorescence dotted with tiny white flowers. Large, snowy white bracts at the base of each spike give the impression of a single flower. The whole plant takes on reddish hues as weather cools, turning brick red by winter. Cut back or mow to the ground each winter for fresh spring growth.

You Might Also Like...

Cupressus sempervirens

Native to southern Europe and western Asia. The species has horizontal branches and dark green foliage...

Melinis nerviglumis

This short-lived African native grass has narrow blue-green leaves that are first erect, then arching,...

Soleirolia soleirolii

Lush mat-forming groundcover from the western Mediterranean. Grows to 2–4 in. high, spreading in...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More