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Growing Native Plants - Myoporum parvifolium
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Growing Native Plants - Myoporum parvifolium

An Australian native, this evergreen hardy plant forms dense, weed suppressing ground cover that will easily cover one square meter. This species thrives if grown in freely-drained soil and full sun. The flowers are white or pink and occur from winter to summer. Sweet fleshy fruits provide food for native birds.


Genus: Myoporum

Species: parvifolium

Other Names: creeping boobialla, dwarf native myrtle

Characteristics of Myoporum parvifolium

A prostrate ground cover to 40 cm high and 1.5 meters or more wide with much branching, layering stems and small, white spring flowers. Several forms have been selected for their ornamental value including Broadleaf, Broadleaf with pink flowers, Purple leaf, Fine leaf and 'Yareena'. Native to Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania

Flowers are in clusters on stalks to 18 mm long, bell-shaped with 4 or 5 lobes, white with purple dots on the inside of the petals. Fruits are globular, purple drupe, 5-7 mm diameter.

Varieties: Myoporum Floribundum, Myoporum parvifolium Coarse PinkMyoporum parvifolium Fine Leaf PinkMyoporum parvifolium YareenaMyoporum ViscosumMyoporum parvifolium Fine White.


It needs well-draining soil, but the soil can be clay, loamy or sandy. The soil pH should be below 7.0. Space plants five to six feet apart, digging each hole deep enough to accommodate the roots. A thin layer of mulch, about 2 inches thick, may be added at the time of planting to help the soil hold water, though the creeping Myoporum will act as its own mulch once it has spread.

Sun, Water, and Fertilizer

Creeping Myoporum will grow in full sun or partial shade. When newly planted, water weekly or when the top 2 inches of soil dries out. Once established, the shrub does not need much water. A deep watering every one to two weeks in the summer, less often in the fall and winter, is all it needs. Add a slow-release, low-phosphorus fertilizer at the time of planting, and again each year after pruning.


Creeping Myoporum is fast-growing, so it may need pruning a few times during the growing period if you want to keep it a specific shape or height. The shrub grows about 6 inches tall. Use hedge shears to keep it shorter, or use pruning shears to cut individual stems. As the shrub ages, it may develop bare patches. Take stem cuttings from the current year's growth and plant the hardened cuttings to fill in the gaps.


Creeping Myoporum is a spreading a ground cover that forms a dense mat of foliage, making it a good choice for use in larger areas where you want green coverage but do not want to mow the grass. Because it spreads over such a large area, creeping Myoporum is best planted by itself rather than in a mixed bed. The semi-tender leaves mean it will not withstand foot traffic. Its low water requirements make it a recommended ground cover in areas where water conservation is important.

For assistance with your plant selection or any garden advice please email:

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