Great Plant Pick: Platt’s Black brass buttons

This feathery fern-like perennial is drought resistant once established and tolerant of light foot traffic.

  • Friday, July 29, 2022 1:30am
  • Life
Leptinella squalida, Platt’s Black, commonly called Platt’s Black brass buttons. (Richie Steffen)

What: This evergreen groundcover is a real Northwest workhorse. Tolerant of light foot traffic, this feathery fern-like perennial is green with gray, purple, and black tints. In spring and summer, tiny yellow button-like flowers appear a few inches above the foliage. It can be used as a low traffic lawn and is a great low maintenance ground cover.

Where: Plant in full sun to light or open shade. Tolerant of shade, ‘Platt’s Black’ isn’t particular about soil and is drought resistant once established. ‘Platt’s Black’ is great planted between stepping stones to add interest and suppress weeds. To establish it, plant one to four inch plugs on eight inch centers and full coverage will be achieved in three to four months.

Size: Grows to 3 inches tall in 10 years.

Care: This small groundcover grows best in full sun to light or open shade. Plant it in a moist to well-drained soil, although it will tolerate sandy sites or clay. It appreciates occasional watering during dry weather. Do not crowd with taller plants.


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