Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)
Common names: Texas frogfruit, Turkey tangle fogfruit, Frogfruit
Synonym(s): Lippia incisa, Lippia nodiflora, Lippia nodiflora var. reptans, Lippia reptans, Phyla incisa, Phyla nodiflora var. incisa, Phyla nodiflora var. longifolia, Phyla nodiflora var. nodiflora, Phyla nodiflora var. repens, Phyla nodiflora var. reptans, Phyla nodiflora var. rosea. This is a great example of how confusing botanical names can be.
Habit/Culture: Frogfruit can be used as an excellent perennial groundcover and is evergreen in warm years. It is also evergreen in areas protected and spreads vigorously. Leaves can turn a purple tinge in cold winters. It generally is a good nectar plant for butterflies. It is an attractive rambler over boulders or the edges of hanging baskets. It also can tolerate drought and flooding. Grows 3-6” throughout the southern half of the US. Flowers are white and bloom May - Oct.
This species is a member of the verbena family (family Verbenaceae), which includes about 75 genera and 3,000 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees, mostly of tropical and warm temperate regions. Among them, teak is a highly prized furniture wood, and Vervain, Lantana, Lippia or Frog Fruit, and Chase Tree or Vitex are grown as ornamentals.
Native Distribution: Southern half of the US to the tropics.
Native habitat includes anywhere from ditches and roadways to beaches and fields. Growing Conditions: Water Use: Low , Medium. Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade. Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist. CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium. Heat Tolerant: excellent. Soil Tolerance: Sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone. Poor drainage and saline soils okay. Tolerates drought and flooding. Will go dormant during hard winters.
Uses: A great groundcover for full sun and part shade areas, with trailing foliage and charming, mini-verbena-like flowers. Would also do well as a pot plant. Attracts numerous insect pollinators. Flowers are attractive. Attracts butterflies such as Phaon Crescentspot, Buckeye, and White Peacock butterflies. It is a good nectar source. Is moderately deer resistance.
Problems: Unfortunately some people consider this wonderful plant a weed! It’s not and I’m not going to tell you how to kill it.