Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rabbit's Paw, Creeping Daisy, Water Zinnia, Singapore Daisy, Wedelia
Sphagneticola trilobata

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sphagneticola (sfag-net-TEE-koh-luh) (Info)
Species: trilobata (try-lo-BAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Complaya trilobata
Synonym:Silphium trilobatum
Synonym:Thelechitonia trilobata
Synonym:Wedelia paludosa
Synonym:Wedelia trilobata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 25 photos.
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11 positives
3 neutrals
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive rosemarysims On Feb 21, 2014, rosemarysims from Mermentau, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

In the 80's & 90's, it seemed like everybody who lived in the French Quarter in New Orleans was growing Wedelia on their balcony. It's all disappeared from there now, or has it really? In the 50's and 60's, It used to seem like everybody was growing Kalanchoe daigremontiana on the balcony. Now, 60 years later, if you look closely at the cracks in the sidewalks there, you can still see some of the thousands of babies that used to litter the streets.

Positive Meehlticket On May 28, 2012, Meehlticket from Daphne, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

If you have extreme water runoff area (think down pour in bucket loads), with huge amounts of water running through your yard, and if it is in heavy tree shade, THIS IS ABOUT THE ONLY PLANT THAT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN A SHADY RAIN GARDEN. But be sure to put up growth barriers - down and up. This plant can be as invasive - maybe more so, than bamboo.

Positive TripleGait On Oct 2, 2011, TripleGait from Bushnell, FL wrote:

Yes, it is invasive. However, I have it planted in an area bordered on only 2 sides with concrete and it rarely gets outside the two open areas....I think the reason is that I have it in a fairly shaded area. I could not grow grass there easily so I used the wedelia. It's been there for 3 years now and has crept out about 1' from the fence line.....I just clip it off and then put it on the other side of the yard where it is even shadier and it does fine. Don't stick it out in the full sun with nothing to contain it and it can be a handy plant. And it still blooms in the shade, not as extensively as in the sun, but it blooms quite a bit.

Neutral SigourneyBeaver On Jul 24, 2010, SigourneyBeaver from Pine Island, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Well, it's sure easy to grow and the blloms are pretty. If you love constant weedwhacking in the hottest, wettest part of the summer, I recommend it. If you are a somewhat normal human being and don't want a plant that can grow a foot a day and cover everything, then avoid it. It's clear this is something I will be chasing the rest of my days here.

Positive al_yankee On Jul 21, 2010, al_yankee from Daleville, AL wrote:

This plant makes a great ground cover. Here is southeast Alabama it freezes back in the winter making it easy to clear out unwanted plants and rake the area. The wedelia comes back in the spring.

Positive PammiePi On Jun 17, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

Wonderful groundcover for areas where nothing else will grow! Transplants easily & is very low (or no) maintenance. The description says it must be watered constantly, but someone must've forgotten to tell my plants! As a testament to how tough these plants are, a few years ago, I bought 4 'plugs' for 25 cents a piece at a local nursery. I put the plugs aside intending on planting them & forgot them for a few days. When I remembered about them, the poor little plants were shriveled, but still alive. I planted them underneath my Magnolia in clay so hard I was not sure the plants would survive. I watered heavily the first few days hoping to revive the plants. Not only did all 4 plants survive, but today I have an 10' wide area of Wedelias under my Magnolia, in an area where nothing else, including weeds, would grow. I transplant sprigs to other areas of my yard, and it transplants very easily. Easy to grow, they even can take some traffic & mowing, and is green all winter (just dying back a bit in hard-freezes). Mine are planted under a tree, with filtered sunlight, in very hard clay, and receive little watering. They flower throughout the year except on the coldest winter days. I love this tough little plant.

Negative enroute On Feb 22, 2010, enroute from Chandler, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Invasive. Sends out runners. I'm in the process of digging about 50 wedelia plants out of my newly landscaped yard. In my eyes, this is a weed.

Negative pueokai On Feb 15, 2010, pueokai from Kalaheo, HI wrote:

I have a wedelia infested valley in Hawaii and have been unable to get rid of this pest - it keeps popping up everywhere. Roundup knocks it back but it will return, and is almost impossible to pull out. Attempts to salt it out of my seashore paspallum lawn have also met fierce resistance. Stay away from this invasive.

Negative bruceberman67 On Feb 2, 2010, bruceberman67 from cairns
Australia wrote:

I agree with the negative comments
a noxious weed that spreads as readily from seeds and cuttings as this one will never be contained to the garden
I have a hillside block that backs onto rainforrest
it completely displaces anything native where ever it is in evidence
an effective herbicide (in Australia at least) is Esteem WDG Selective Herbicide.
Active constituent 600g/kg Metsulfuron Methyl
Designed so the label says to kill broadleaf weeds in wheat, barley, triticale and cereal rye.
Seems capable of killing pretty much anything to me and has a residual effect, be careful if you use it.

Positive DesertDreamer On Feb 17, 2009, DesertDreamer from Tempe, AZ wrote:

within a clearly bordered area, this does well in even AZ full sun. It probably isnt what one would call xeric, as it likes some moisture, but there are few groundcovers that can survive full AZ sun as well as this does. It will even do well on hardpacked clay once it is established. Of course, all of these traits make it potentially invasive, but responsible plantings can make good use of this plant. I have become fond of using it as a 'cover crop' to improve soils. I let it become established, then mulch heavily. The rapid growth shades the soil and mulch, allowing for more normal breakdown and water retention than bare soil with some mulch on top would. I mow it heavily if it gets too aggressive, and keep mulching. Meanwhile, plant a tree or two in the now cooler and or more moist soil; this provides a higher canopy cover for the soil and future shubs/plants.
Within a few years, I use roundup to kill it off and Im left with a canopy layer that would have been difficult to establish without the use of wedelia, as well as enriched soils that would have taken much longer to achieve otherwise. A few more shots of roundup are all that are needed to kill it off. Mulch again for aesthetics, and voila! Nice planting grounds

Positive honeycat On Jul 18, 2008, honeycat from New Orleans, LA wrote:

Oh, come on, folks! Relax. This plant is wonderful as a contained ground cover--much more interesting than that ubiquitous pachysandra. I have it growing in the space between the sidewalk and street, with walkways on both sides, so it is easy to keep it under control. All the children walking down the sidewalk love to pick the "daisies". Unfortunately, an across the street neighbor, dubbed by my next door neighbor as the "lawn police," calls it a weed, and once mowed it down to the bare ground.

There is some growing in front of my fence where the water meter is, so I have to keep pulling it up so the meter readers can get to the meter. Otherwise it is no problem. My daughter also grows it in a large pot. I love it, it is beautiful, and requires absolutely no maintenance except control.

Neutral PasPosies On Sep 9, 2007, PasPosies from Carriere, MS wrote:

This plant was given to me by unsuspecting friend. In space of a year it has run at least 20 feet and is a tangled mess 8 inches high with the flowers standing above. However in looking it over I believe it has a place. It could be used at the base of a large tree in circular fashion. And kept controlled when cutting the grass around it. Also I have an area that is partially shaded by Mimosa trees. It could be planted here and kept under control by using an edging 4" in the ground and 4" high. Since it seems to be a surface rooted plant it would be fairly easy to maintain since the runners would be obvious and can be clipped off when mowing the grass. I think I will try it.

Negative Curlyerley On May 2, 2005, Curlyerley from Cairns
Australia wrote:

I have a property in the Tropical North Queensland rainforest, some of it marginal wetland. This plant, if left unchecked, will cover everything!
Only in areas where there is no sunlight and permanent groundwater will anything else under 1 metre high survive unless continual clearing is maintained!

It is a source of continual frustration to me, especially when it rains here for four weeks at a time.

It does mow well, and half my front paddock looks great, the half where Singapore Daisy has taken over. Don't plant it in warm areas!

Negative IslandJim On Feb 27, 2005, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Once established, it's very difficult to get rid of. It does respond to RoundUp, especially in winter when its vigor has been tamed a bit by chilly weather. But because it roots at every node and breaks easily when pulled, if you have it once, you'll have it forever.

Negative NativePlantFan9 On Feb 26, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Wedelia or Creeping Oxeye (Wedelia paludosa) is extremely invasive and weedy in central and southern Florida, parts of the Caribbean and Bahamas, Hawaii and other tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. It can quickly spread uncontrollably by runners, quickly forming dense spreading groundcovers that prevent the germination of native species. It is naturalized and spreading in many natural areas and both disturbed and undisturbed habitats in central and southern Florida, including pine flatwoods, wet areas and swampsides, canal banks and ditches, along fences and property borders and edges, coastal dunes and coastal habitats as well as many other varied habitats both inland and coastal as well as both wet/moist habitats and dry, as well as sandy, habitats. It used to be popular in cultivation and is still sometimes planted in central and southern Florida as a border or groundcover. In the Caribbean, Bahamas, Hawaii and other tropical and subtropical areas it is also sometimes used for those purposes. It thrives in zones 8b through 11 in sun or shade. However, it is not used as much as in the past because of it's invasive nature. It also is unattractive and is a mess in shade with few blooms (it blooms the most in full sun). It is now listed by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) as a Category Two Invasive for central and southern Florida due to it's large invasive potential. It is also probably listed as a pest in Hawaii. It SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED IN WARM TO MILD AREAS WHERE IT CAN BECOME INVASIVE!

Synonyms are Sphagneticola trilobata (L.)Pruski, Acmella brasiliensis Spreng., Acmella spilanthoides Cass., Buphthalmum repens Lam., Buphthalmum strigosum Spreng., Complaya trilobata (L.)Strother, Polymnia carnosa Poir., Polymnia carnosa Poir. var. glabella (Rich.)Poir., Polymnia carnosa Poir. var. aspera (Rich.)Poir., Polymnia carnosa Poir. var. triloba (Rich.)Poir., Seruneum paludosum (DC.)Kuntze, Seruneum trilobatum (L.)Kuntze, Silphium trilobatum L., Sphagneticola ulei O.Hoffm., Stemmodontia trilobata (L.)Small, Thelechitonia trilobata (L.)H.Rob. & Cuatrec., Verbesina carnosa M.Gómez var. aspera (Rich.)M.Gómez, Verbesina carnosa M.Gómez var. triloba (Rich.)M.Gómez, Verbesina carnosa M.Gómez, Wedelia brasiliensis S.F.Blake, Wedelia carnea Rich., Wedelia carnosa Rich. ex Spreng., Wedelia carnosa Rich. var. glabella Rich., Wedelia carnosa Rich. var. triloba Rich., Wedelia carnosa Rich. var. aspera Rich., Wedelia crenata Rich., Wedelia paludicola Poepp. & Endl., Wedelia triloba (Rich.)Bello and Wedelia trilobata (L.)Hitchc.

This plant can tolerate drought or dry conditions but usually prefers rather moist or wet to evenly moist soil.

Negative xyris On Feb 12, 2005, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant also goes by the name Wedelia trilobata, and more lately Sphagneticola trilobata. It is definitely an invasive exotic in central and south Florida, and really loves wet areas, sun or shade. Some got into a wet area of my garden, and it has been very difficult to control. It can be attractive in full sun for ditchbank stabilization, since it seems to produce more flowers in the sun. In the shade, however, it is a mess, very rampant and fast growth and few flowers.

Neutral gapeahen On Jul 3, 2004, gapeahen from Donna in Douglas, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Yes it will spread will quickly! Roundup will NOT kill it! I use hyvar to keep it under control or pull up new runners! It's beautiful in bloom! Good erosion control, but beware!

Negative klaude On Jun 17, 2004, klaude from Cairns
Australia (Zone 11) wrote:

In Cairns Australia this plant is commonly known as Singapore Daisy. It was introduced to the area only about 25 years ago and has proved to be very invasive, covering large areas of roadside, riverbank, drains, and other open space, and even grows as a ground cover in some open forest areas. Unfortunately the authorities continue to ignore its presence and virtually nothing is being done to control its spread. Never plant this species in the ground in a wet tropical area.

Positive chompermom On Feb 2, 2004, chompermom wrote:

I am living in Belize, and my friend, who knows a lot about native plants, says that rabbit's paw is great for arthritis, rheumatism, etc. You mash it into a paste and rub it where the pain is (exterior). It grows wild here everywhere.

Positive Lauribob On Oct 12, 2003, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

I grew this as a water plant, about 3" deep in a whiskey barrel this summer. It bloomed most of the summer and trailed over the sides of the barrel to nice effect. This weekend I gave it to my sister who lives in a more temperate climate on the other side of the mountains to put in her pond as we are getting frost here now.

Positive htop On Sep 7, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
I have Wedelia trilobata, which is native to Mexico, South America, West Africa and the West Indies and has become naturalized in Hawaii, Loiusiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. mine are planted in an old 20 inch in diameter, 4 inch deep pan (with drainage holes). It is in an area that has no inground plantings. Tall containers hold other plants and are about 3 feet away from the Wedelia trilobata pan. Mulch is 3 to 4 inches deep around the pan and containers. The Wedelia trilobata radiates in all directions filling in the spaces between the containers and growing past them, but does not bother the container plants and does not root because of the mulch. I prune the runners which are heading toward the grass. It makes this area look very lush and provides constant color with its yellow blooms from late spring until a hard freeze comes along. It dies back and re-emerges in the early spring. I have not had any plants come up from seed. I had read that it is an evergreen, but was disappointed that it is not.

I am glad to find out that it is hard to get rid of if planted in a flowerbed because I was just about to root it in some of my beds. At least it does not have underground rhizomes which would make it even harder to control. I gave a friend of mine some cuttings. She planted them in a very tall container and sat the container 4 feet above the ground. The Wedelia trilobata filled in the container and is all the way to the ground. It is just beautiful. I just had to make a comment because I love this plant. I guess one has to be careful where one plants it. It is good for soil retention and erosion control. It may be mowed.

It is also used as a creeping bog plant because its thick horizontal stems with numerous branches grow in all directions across water or mud. It is a good filtering agent because the roots are produced at intervals along the stem, grow into open water and absorb nutrients directly from the water; thus, the amount of algae is decreased because the Wedelia trilobata is using up the nutrients.

This species has been used to treat infections, indigestion, hepatitis and to clear the placenta after birth. NOTE: After grazing on it, farm animals have aborted fetuses.

Crushed leaves can be employed as a poultice and tea is given to alleviate symptoms of colds and flu. I would advise it not be ingested by pregnant women!!

A site in Australia states that a metsulfuron methyl herbicide plus a surfactant can be sprayed on the plant to eradicate it, with subsequent respraying of stems that were not killed the first time. Of course, if not careful, it may kill other desirable plants along with it, but I do not know having never used it.

Negative IslandJim On Jun 3, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is terribly invasive and aggressive. It roots at every node and, therefore, is nearly impossible to control chemically. it will spread over a large area in a short period of time and, at my place, crawled over a 6-foot wooden fence. A thin mist of diesel oil seems to be the only thing that will defer it for any extended period of time.

Positive Monocromatico On Apr 29, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a small, fast growing herb, not too exigent about light, soil, as long as you keep the soil moist. It constantly produces yellow daisies. When there are optimal conditions, the whole field can be covered with golden flowers. But this plant can be invasive if let grown alone. Since it goes well in most soils and light conditions, it can be an undesirable presence in a garden.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Daphne, Alabama
Daytona Beach, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Lynn Haven, Florida
Miami, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Venice, Florida
Douglas, Georgia
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
New Orleans, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Saucier, Mississippi
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Conroe, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Grapevine, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Augustine, Texas
Seadrift, Texas

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