T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Mazus radicans (Swamp Musk)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Phrymaceae
Genus: Mazus
Species: M. radicans
Binomial name: Mazus radicans
Common name: Swamp Musk

Mazus radicans is a small New Zealand native creeping  wetland herb which forms large thick patches of mottled green/brown/purple usually hairy leaves. This vigorous prostrate plant grows to a height of 5 cm. The more or less oval leaves are widest above the middle.
From November to March (2.5 cm diameter) flowers appear with two erect upper lobes coloured purple while the broad three lobed lip has yellow running into the throat. The seed capsules on maturity turns a purple red.
It is found in the wild in damp places and along the edges of bogs in sub alpine regions up to 1200 m from Mt Egmont\Taranaki and the Huiarau Ranges southwards to Fiordland. It is common throughout the South Island.
It is now widely sold in nurseries as a ground cover.

Mazus radicans photographed in May with seed capsules.

Close up of the usually hairy leaves.