The Q&A Archives: pratia

Question: You e-mailed me that pratia is a great ground cover to use between stepping stones. Does Home Depot sell this, if not, where can I get it? Is there another name.


Answer: Pratia is a regional name and this groundcover is often sold as Sagina subulata, most commonly called Irish Moss. It should be readily available in flats in most garden centers.

Long a favorite pathway filler in Europe, this "moss" is in fact not really a true moss at all, but is rather an herbaceous perennial, albeit one of the tiniest and finest of all perennials on this earth - you?d be hard pressed to believe that this fuzzy green rug is actually comprised of the leaves of a plant. Here you have a plant that grows quickly into an impenetrable carpeting of an almost uniform texture, forming slight mounds which undulate around and over the stones of your walk. The dark green leaves set off the delicate and tiny white star-flowers in late spring. We can also include in here Scotch moss (Sagina subulata ?Aureus?), which is a golden-foliage sister to Irish moss (actually more chartreuse, but who?s keeping score?), but otherwise identical in all respects.

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