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Dichondra repens

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Convolvulaceae (Bindweed)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
5 centimetres tall
Sand dunes, seaside.

White, 5 petals
The flowers are tiny and yellowish-white, or greenish-white.
The fruit is a hairy, 2-parted capsule.
A creeping or trailing, evergreen, densely mat-forming perennial flower with roundish, kidney-shaped leaves. Can be found growing wild on the sand dunes in Cornwall.
Other Names:
Asian Ponysfoot, Kidney Weed, Lawn Leaf, Mercury Bay Weed, Ponysfoot.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Dichondra repens, commonly known as kidney weed or ponysfoot, is a species of low-growing perennial plant in the morning glory family. It is native to Australia and New Zealand, but it is widely cultivated in many parts of the world as a ground cover or lawn alternative. The leaves are kidney-shaped and are a bright green color. The plant produces small, inconspicuous white or yellow flowers in the summer. Dichondra repens is known for its fast-growing habit and its ability to spread quickly to form a dense mat of foliage. It is often used in landscaping to cover large areas of ground, or as an alternative to a traditional lawn. It is also used in hanging baskets, as a ground cover or as a filler in mixed flower beds. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil to grow well.


Dichondra repens, commonly known as kidneyweed or lawn leaf, is a perennial herb that belongs to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). It is native to the southeastern United States, Mexico, and parts of South America but is now found in many other parts of the world, including Australia and Europe.

Kidneyweed gets its common name from its kidney-shaped leaves, which are small, round, and green with a silvery sheen. The plant grows low to the ground and forms a dense mat, making it an excellent groundcover for lawns, gardens, and between pavers.

Growing and Caring for Kidneyweed

Kidneyweed is relatively easy to grow and requires little maintenance once established. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The plant can be propagated through seeds or stem cuttings and can be planted any time during the growing season.

To plant kidneyweed from seeds, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening the top inch of soil. Sow the seeds evenly and cover with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which usually takes about 7 to 10 days.

Kidneyweed can also be planted from stem cuttings. Take 2-3 inch cuttings from the tips of the stems and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them in well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist until the cuttings have rooted.

Once established, kidneyweed requires little watering and fertilizing. However, it may benefit from occasional fertilization with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

Uses of Kidneyweed

Kidneyweed is primarily used as a groundcover in lawns, gardens, and between pavers. Its small size and dense growth habit make it an excellent alternative to grass in low-traffic areas. It is also used as a border plant and as a filler for hanging baskets and mixed container gardens.

Kidneyweed is often used in conjunction with other groundcovers, such as creeping thyme, to create a varied and attractive landscape. Its small size and low-growing habit make it an ideal companion for taller plants that require a groundcover to prevent soil erosion.

In addition to its ornamental uses, kidneyweed has some medicinal properties. The plant has been traditionally used to treat kidney stones and other urinary tract disorders. The leaves and stems contain flavonoids and other compounds that are believed to have diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits of Kidneyweed

Apart from being used as an ornamental plant and groundcover, kidneyweed has some potential benefits for human health. The plant is believed to have diuretic properties, which means it helps in increasing urine production and flushing out toxins from the body. This can be helpful in preventing kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Kidneyweed also contains antioxidants that can help in reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a leading cause of many chronic diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Therefore, incorporating kidneyweed in the diet or using it as a natural remedy may help in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

In addition, some studies have suggested that kidneyweed may have antidiabetic properties. The plant contains compounds that can help in regulating blood sugar levels, making it a potential natural remedy for people with diabetes.

Kidneyweed in Landscaping

Kidneyweed is a popular groundcover plant because of its ability to create a dense and attractive mat-like cover. It is perfect for low-traffic areas like walkways, pathways, and small garden beds. Additionally, kidneyweed is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering once it has been established, making it an ideal choice for arid and hot climates.

The plant's small, silver-green leaves add a touch of elegance to the landscape, especially when paired with other plants with contrasting colors and textures. It can be used as a border plant, a filler for hanging baskets and mixed container gardens, and as an underplanting for taller plants. It also provides a soft, comfortable surface for pets and children to play on.

Growing Kidneyweed in Containers

Kidneyweed can also be grown in containers, making it a great option for those with limited space or no access to a garden. To grow kidneyweed in a container, choose a pot with drainage holes and fill it with well-draining soil. Sow the seeds or plant the stem cuttings, and water the plant until it is established.

Kidneyweed grows quickly and spreads easily, so it is important to keep an eye on it and trim it back regularly. You can also use kidneyweed as a trailing plant in hanging baskets or as a filler for mixed container gardens.

Harvesting and Using Kidneyweed

Kidneyweed is an edible plant, and its leaves and stems can be used in salads, soups, and other dishes. The plant has a slightly sour taste and pairs well with other leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs. It is also a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

To harvest kidneyweed, pick the young leaves and stems from the plant, making sure to leave some behind for the plant to continue growing. Rinse the leaves thoroughly and pat them dry. You can use the leaves fresh or dried, depending on your preference.

Kidneyweed is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including urinary tract infections, arthritis, and skin conditions. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using kidneyweed as a natural remedy.

In conclusion, kidneyweed, also known as Dichondra repens, is a versatile and attractive plant that has many benefits for human health and landscaping. Whether you choose to use it as a groundcover, a container plant, or as a natural remedy, kidneyweed is an excellent addition to any garden or landscape. Its small size, low-growing habit, and silvery-green leaves make it a great option for those who want to add some greenery to their surroundings without much maintenance.