Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dwarf Cup Flower

Continuing on with this groundcover series, I am excited today to write about this particular plant!  Shocking.  Surprising.  Light.  Airy.  And purple!!  Okay I need to calm down:)  Why am I excited about this plant? Of all of the groundcovers I planted, this one snapped back the fastest after our winter freeze and began growing quickly producing its first flower in March!  Look at the pic below...
Taken in March.  These were the first signs of life in the garden.

In spring, this plant really began taking off and it was the only one in this particular tree well to survive our extreme freeze.  It adds lovely texture to surrounding plants and enhances the overall appearance of the fern garden.  In this particular garden, the focal plants are ferny with smaller leaves which is what this plant provides!  This plant is highly recommended for your Tucson or Zone 9 garden.  Here are the facts thanks to Linda Strader from the Tucson Examiner.
I took this at The Gardens...part of the UA Extension on River and Campbell.  This plant is really just an amazing groundcover or potted plant. 

 "Dwarf cup flower (Nierembergia hippomanica) is an underused, desert loving perennial, that deserves more attention. For Tucsonans, finding a flowering plant that loves the heat, blooms profusely, is drought tolerant, and reseeds itself readily, is a dream come true. The only requirement that mars perfection is it does need light shade, such as underneath a mesquite or palo verde tree. Dwarf cup flower grows from about 6 to 12 inches tall and wide. It has stiff, upright needle like leaves, bright green in color. Tiny purple flowers cover the plant throughout the summer. It is recommended to cut back to influence more blooms, but not necessary. Another variety is ‘Mont Blanc’ with white flowers, but it does not seem to reseed itself as easily as the purple species. Plant Dwarf cup flower in the spring for an accent in your desert garden. Since it has low water requirements, you can use your existing irrigation system. It also does well in pots." End of article.
So there you have it....from two Tucsonans.  This plant is a must for your groundcover or potted areas. Until next time.....


  1. Never thought of putting Nierembergias in a pot, I have to try. They do well here.

  2. That Cup Flower has always been a mainstay of Hispanic peoples' gardens in Abq, and I see why. Loves it here, comes back from roots every spring, is as tough as Portulaca and Dahlberg Daisy - but it is a welcome cool color. And here, it reseeds some. Thanks for showing this overlooked color plant!

  3. I do not much comment because it was amazed to see photos flower that you show gratitude progressively increased knowledge about flowers.

  4. It is really a beautiful potted plant, the pot in the photo is well-shaped.

  5. Just found your blog after looking for tips on planting this flower! If there is a word to describe someone who is newer at something than a "rookie" or "newbie", it is me when it comes to gardening! I hoped to put these in pots but Lowe's suggested it wouldn't be advisable to keep them in pots longer than 6 months tops. If I put them in a pot, would I have to re-transplant it again? That is, if I manage not to kill them in 26 hours like I did the Cosmos I attempted last week!

  6. Great plant choice!! I recommend putting it in the pot in full sun with some regular some observation on this plant and enjoy the purple flowers. It's one of the more difficult groundcovers to kill. Sun and some regular watering. Good luck!!

  7. I bought some of it yesterday at lowes and I was looking of the care tips, come up here and as I was looking the pictures it is very lovable plants. I love plants we come from San Diego and I was really looking for plants that suits here considering the weather. I love it.


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