What Is That Lawn Ornament? A Carpet of Native Wildflowers?! Angel’s Tears!

Blog Series Headline photo

A handful of the “lawn ornaments” that will be featured in this blog series. Top row (left to right): Sunshine Powderpuff, Perennial Peanut, Frogfruit, and Fleabane. Bottom row (left to right): Manyflower Pennywort, Bay Lobelia, Florida Snow, and Blue-Eyed Grass.

Welcome to our Lawn Ornament blog series, where we explore the plethora of micro-plants that can help create a biodiverse, predominantly green, yet also delightfully colorful lawn that requires much less maintenance than a traditional grass lawn.

Many homeowners find it difficult and costly to maintain a “traditional” lawn, one largely dominated by a single grass cultivar. Embracing a biodiverse landscape can ease the frustration and save money, with the added bonus of providing ecological benefits. This “Lawn Ornament” series will provide a road map to that goal. Along the way, we’ll showcase volunteer “weeds” and commercially available ground covers that can improve upon the biodiversity of our lawns. We will also offer you tips and techniques to adopt and embrace this biodiverse approach. Breaking free from tradition, we can transform yards and neighborhoods to vibrant, beautiful mixed-mowable ecosystems.

Make sure to check out the Starter Guide: Embracing Lawn Ornaments: A Starter Guide

This plant is one that peaks in spring and is a prime example of the importance of No Mow March.

Angel’s Tears

Carpet of Angel's Tears Flowers.
A giant mat of Lindernia grandiflora growing outside the Morgan Family Community Center in North Port!

Along our roadside swales, you might have noticed a delicate wildflower peaking with purple and white flowers. Angel’s Tears, scientifically known as Lindernia grandiflora, goes by several other common names: Blue Moneywort or Savannah False Pimpernel. As March unfolds its splendor, this small Florida native wildflower can take center stage as it peaks, although its blooms grace the landscape almost year-round. Let’s delve into the allure of Angel’s Tears and why it’s a must-have Lawn Ornament for any native mixed-mowable enthusiast.

Sun + Water

Angel’s Tears is almost exclusive to Florida as an endemic species, only occurring outside the state in a couple counties in Georgia naturally. Preferring full sun and moist soils, this plant excels in ditches, low-lying spots, and along the edges of stormwater ponds. Forming large mats that stand roughly 4-6 inches tall and extend many feet wide, Angel’s Tears creates a lush carpet of color, adding a touch of wildflower beauty to any landscape.

Pollinator Haven

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Angel’s Tears plays a vital role for native pollinators with its early spring blooms, ensuring a steady supply of forage during months when little else is in bloom. The White Peacock butterfly also hosts on the plant along with fellow Lawn Ornaments Herb-Of-Grace and Frogfruit. By incorporating Angel’s Tears into your garden, you’re not only enhancing its visual appeal but also providing essential forage and habitat for these delicate winged creatures.

Trendy for Aquariums

Foliage of Lindernia grandiflora along with a photoshopped in White Peacock Butterfly, which hosts on the plant.

Due to its attractive foliage and dainty flowers, Angel’s Tears has found its way into the aquarium trade, where it adds a touch of natural beauty to aquatic landscapes. However, caution is advised when purchasing this plant online, as many aquarium plants have the potential to become invasive if not properly contained and there are many species that might look similar. It’s best to source Angel’s Tears from a Florida Association of Native Nurseries business to prevent any unintended ecological consequences.

Easy Propagation for Every Gardener

For those eager to propagate Angel’s Tears, you’re in luck! This charming wildflower is incredibly easy to propagate. Simply take a cutting from an existing plant found outside of protected areas and root it in water. Once rooted, transfer the cutting to a pot with poor drainage, keeping the soil consistently moist. Before you know it, your Angel’s Tears will overflow the pot, ready to be spread throughout your mixed-mowable lawn. Plant in swales, rain gardens, and around ponds to add to the vibrant tapestry of color and life in your landscape!

Will you add a touch of Angel’s Tears to your outdoor oasis today? With its year-round blooms and effortless charm, it’s sure to enchant both you and your garden visitors alike.

Declaration of Generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process
During the preparation of this work, the author used ChatGPT to help build the blog post. After using this tool/service, the author reviewed and edited the content, and takes full responsibility for the content of the publication.

Forest Hecker, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Community Educator for Sarasota County's UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Department.
Posted: March 19, 2024

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Lawn
Tags: FFL, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Horticulture, Landscape, Landscaping, Lawn, Pgm_HortRes

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