Lipia (Lippia nodiflora)

The Lippia nodiflora is a perennial herb, also known as Bella carpet or just Lipia. It belongs to the Verbenaceae family, it is characterized by its small size and rapid growth. Because it is a covering plant it is great to replace the classic lawn. Some animals even use it as a source of nutrients for their food, as well as being an excellent source of nectar for butterflies.


This plant expands throughout the soil developing roots as it spreads, often forming large mats. It is grown as an ornamental plant and is also given medicinal uses. The Lippia nodiflora is a plant of little height, as it develops it quickly covers the ground with its extended stems that reach between 30 and 90 centimeters . Its small leaves are green, oval, with an irregular margin. During the winter period they turn reddish, which in a way hinders their ornamental quality due to the lackluster appearance they acquire.

In relation to its foliage, it tends to cover the ground, withstands constant trampling and occasional vehicular passage. Its elongated stems latch on to the soil surface and spreads rapidly in all directions. It is an invasive plant. Its small leaves are crowded along the length of its stems and can completely cover the ground in the spring, summer and autumn seasons.

This becomes dry during the winter which is what gives the characteristic reddish tone of that season, at that time the stems become bare. Its foliage begins its cycle again in early spring, when the earth warms up.

The stems of the plant have a large number of small and aromatic flowers, they are found in groups of concentrated flowers, they have an approximate diameter of 2.5 mm. They are often seen as white and yellow towards the center, sometimes they are pink. They constantly attract bees due to their melliferous nature, so it is not recommended if you have children or a garden at home.

Cultivation of Lippia nodiflora

To plant the Lipia, prepare the soil as if you were going to sow a plant, then water with plenty of water. When 5 or 6 days have elapsed you will be able to observe the appearance of weed seedlings. Once this has happened, then proceed to eliminate the weed manually or with the use of an indicated herbicide with low environmental impact. Apply the product with a small sprayer, try that the content does not reach the nearby plants. After approximately 48 hours, you can sow the Lippia. Although it is a species that tends to compete advantageously with the weed, it is best to eliminate it as soon as possible, so that you ensure its proper development.

You can plant 5 to 15 seedlings per square meter depending on the effect you want. For example, if you expect quick coverage, the density of the number of seedlings ranges from 10 to 12 per square meter. Finally, water abundantly until the seedlings are fully rooted. Once this happens you can progressively reduce the irrigation until it is interrupted.

In those slightly milder geographical areas you can plant the Lipia during the fall, giving it enough time to take root well in the ground and withstand the drought during the summer. Of course, and in another field, it is best to plant it in spring, free from the risk of freezing. Once the Lipia is planted in the ground, it becomes strongly rooted and will begin to develop in all directions, until it fully forms the grass of the selected area. In relation to the light conditions, it grows very well; both in full sun and in partial shade.

Despite its small size and appearance, Lippia nodiflora has an interesting resistance to drought, even when exposed to extreme conditions. When the area has low irrigation, it tends to decrease in size, its leaves shrink and the carpet that forms the plant becomes thinner. In temperate zones it retains the same appearance throughout the year.

Regarding the nature of the soil, it is an undemanding plant. Tolerates light and clay soils, preferably well drained. However, do not rely on the strength of Lippia, as temperatures below -10º C can cause serious damage to the plant.

You do not have to worry much about the issue of irrigation, this plant has the capacity to withstand continuous trampling. It is not necessary to pay or collect. A good watering carried out once or twice a month in hot season is enough, although it also has the characteristic that once it is rooted, it can withstand drought, in which case the species returns to rest at the end of summer.


It is a very resistant plant to diseases and attacks from the plague, it also does not need to be fertilized. However, it is recommended that you apply a type of granular fertilizer during the spring or a slow release fertilizer, giving preference to formulas that contain nitrogen and potassium. If you repeat this procedure in autumn, it can make the plant better withstand the cold season.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Easy cultivation and fast growth.
  • Excellent resistance to trampling.
  • Decorative flowering for a long time.
  • Resistant to salt by the sea.


Due to its tussock upholstery character, it is a valid option to traditional grass, which is highly resistant to footsteps and drought. Its use in the kitchen is limited to the preparation of a substitute drink for tea, due to its particular herbaceous flavor. In alternative medicine, it is used as a pain reliever and antibacterial, antibacterial, diuretic, for better menstruation, and parasiticide. It is used in the treatment of hookworm. It is also used to relieve fever, cough, and cold. The root is used in the treatment of digestive problems.

Ideal for arranging floral lawns with natural magic, even covering a slope, it also finds its place in dry stone wall cracks and in rock gardens. If you want to plant between slabs, an edge of a hallway or a staircase blooms, this plant will not disappoint you!

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