Scientific name

Sphagneticola O. Hoffm.

Common names

creeping oxeye



Native distribution

New World tropics and subtropics

Species cultivated

Sphagneticola calendulacea (L.) Pruski

S. trilobata (L.C. Rich.) Pruski

Adventive distribution

introduced into the southeastern United States and the Old World

Weed status

can be weedy


creeping, mat-forming herb

Brief description

Stem creeping to ascending, round, short, strigose or hirsute to subglabrous, rooting at nodes. Leaves opposite; sessile or petiolate; leaf blade lanceolate to obovate, often with 3 triangular lobes, fleshy, glabrous; apex acute; base cuneate; margin irregularly toothed; venation pinnate. Inflorescence axillary, of radiate flower heads; pedunculate; involucre campanulate-hemispherical; phyllaries lanceolate; ray florets fertile, often 8-13 per head, 2-4 denticulate; disk florets fertile, pappus a crown of short fimbriate scales; yellow-orange. Achenes clavate, brown; tuberculate; pappus of fused scales, crown-shaped.

Natural habitat

very wide ecological tolerance range; equally suited to dry and moist sites, and often found in littoral areas

Additional comments

Sphagneticola contains five species, of which none are truly aquatic. Sphagneticola trilobata is capable of surviving and thriving in wet habitats, and although it isn’t a true aquatic plant, it is marketed as an ornamental ground cover, and as a pond, bog, and riparium plant.