Platt's Black "Brass Buttons"

Plant Pick: Platt’s Black Brass Buttons

Leptinella squallida Platt’s Black Brass Buttons

This little fern-looking plant is so cute. You will fall in love with it right away. I have seen references to it as “Dollhouse Fern” but currently I think “Fairy Garden Fern” might be a great new name for it. Its tiny black and green  leaves  which look like little fern fronds make a nice texture for a hypertufa trough and I think it would be nice as a texture for a fairy garden planter. It grows in a mat or carpet and can also be used as a  filler for cracks between flagstones or brickwork in moist, shady areas.

Platt's Black "Brass Buttons" is perfect for a fairy garden. Looks like ferns.

This will NOT be a companion plant for your succulents since this plant needs shade and moisture .  But it makes  a nice plant for your hypertufa planters sitting in the shady areas.

I have this cute little plant in my shade garden in a large hypertufa bowl with some kenilworth ivy and some other shade dwarf plants.  The hypertufa bowl is nestled among Japanese Painted Fern and astilbe and heuchera. I like the rich dark green of this plant contrasting with the veining on the Painted Fern.   For more posts about my Backyard Flower Garden, click here.

Platts Black Brass Buttons


  • Height:  1-2 inches
    Spread:  10-18 inches
    Hardiness Zone:  5-10
    Location: Partial shade or shade in well-drained moist soil
    Uses: troughs, fairy gardens, containers ,  between stones in walkways since it can take some foot traffic


In the warmer zones, this plant is said to be evergreen and in the colder zones it is herbaceous. Lowest temps indicated is -20F. And it will die back  in the colder zones but comes back in the spring.

Platts Black Brass Buttons in Hypertufa

It is said to have small yellow flowers in the spring. I have not seen those yet since I bought mine late in the season and it hasn’t returned vigorously. But I will be patient and wait.

But the flowers are described as “small and insignificant”, so we shall see. I may consider them cute and fairy-like if I ever have a chance to have them bloom for me!

Is this a plant you have grown? Can you tell me anything about it? Please leave the information in the comments or on the Facebook Page. Thanks for reading!

And please share with your friends!


  1. Annabelle Postles says:

    I just bought a nice little ceramic planter with some hens and chicks in it. But, I see it does not have any holes in the bottom. Wondering if I should the it out of the planter and put it in one with holes. Love your blog, Kim

    1. It would probably be better to have drainage holes, but if it is special, you could just be careful of the amount of water going into it. So do what you need to do.

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