Plant Pick: Herniaria glabra – It’s Drought Tolerant

 Does neglect make Herniaria glabra better? I guess so!

If you would like a little plant for your troughs or fairy gardens, I don’t think you can do better than this little gem! Get it on your plant list!  I found it also listed under “Sea Foam Green Carpet” or rupturewort.

 I am embarrassed to say ( and I call myself a gardener !) that one of these past years I found the little 3″ pot out in the garden under/beside some other troughs. I had purchased it in one of those frenzies that comes over us sometimes. Those times when you fill the back end of the car with all those irresistible little lovelies displayed at our local garden center. I found that I had overlooked that little pot all season until I was ready to pot up some new hypertufas I had just made. Horror!  I found the neglected small nursery pot, but it still looked good!  I watered it well that night and next morning put in the trough I had recently made.


Herniaria glabra for hypertufa troughs


How did the Herniaria glabra recover?

That next morning, it looked like it had just came from the nursery! I noticed no dying areas etc. I removed nothing. I am enthralled by a plant that can do that!  And we all know that not many can!

Herniaria glabra  looks almost like creeping or woolly thyme, but it has a rough or almost wire-like texture.  I have seen a few buds on the branches, but I have never noticed blooms. However, the flower is described as “insignificant” so it’s not for you if you are looking for flowers. Try this instead. But what a creeping spreader.  And it’s deer resistant.  I need to plant it in my Rock Garden at the Park HQ here in Bellbrook. ( Also known as Bambi’s Restaurant and Buffet Garden.)

Herniaria glabra aka rupturewort

I was told that it turns red in winter, but for me that has been anywhere from an orange tint or pink. You know how descriptions go.  My first year with it, I noticed maybe a tint of orangey red.  So we shall see.  It can take foot traffic, so you may want it as an option for stone walkways. Just gets better and better, right?
Here are its stats:
  • Height:  ¼ inch to 1 inch
  • Spread:  24 inches  grows slowly, easy to control
  • Full sun to part sun
  • Needs little to no water other than rainfall
  • Any soil
  • Hardy above -20°
  • Zone  5-9
  • Other Names: Rupturewort,  Sea foam “Green Carpet”
This plant has a longer root or taproot, not lots of little surface roots like Creeping Thyme, so that is why it is a good plant for water conservation. It should survive well in a low water environment, so that is why I wanted it for my hypertufa bowls and troughs.

As this small plant spreads, I have shared it for more troughs. I see that it is also sown by seed. I ask you, can it get any better than that?  Here is my affiliate link for Amazon. I may make a small commission if you purchase via this link. Check out the seeds of  rupturewort .


Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

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