Pratia pedunculata “Country Park” – Blue Star Creeper
This is a vigorous prostrate, evergreen, herbaceous, mat-forming perennial with rooting stems. Though only some 3cm tall this plant provides almost complete weed suppression. The pale blue flowers are a little under 1cm across but are born in great profusion over a couple of months. Male and female flowers appear on separate plants, so they do not usually bear fruit. The leaves of this blue variety are slightly more rounded than the species.
In our private garden it is proving useful around pop-up sprinkler heads, allowing the water to disperse before it contacts any taller foliage.
P. pedunculata come from Australia. I can find no source for the origins of “Country Park” which is now a global plant, being unusual as flowering ground cover in rock gardens. Designers often use this between stepping stones. The genus Pratia is in the Campanula family (Campanulaceae), though P. pedunculata does not seem to have their requirement for rich, damp soil.
Soil / Aspect:
The remarkable thing about this plant is that, unlike most rock garden plants, it thrives in a variety of conditions, from sun to quite deep shade. Although it prefers moist soil, it also thrives happily in dry conditions once it’s well established. It flowers best in sun.
Slugs can be a minor nuisance in shade. Otherwise the only task is to run a spade round the perimeter that you wish to keep this plant to – weeding out growth that has strayed beyond the desired area is reasonably easy as this plant is only shallow rooting. Rooted fragments can be used for propagation at almost any time. Some people report that this plant can be invasive.