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


Dichondra repens (Mercury Bay weed)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Solanales
Family:      Convolvulaceae
Genus:      Dichondra
Species:     D. repens
Binomial name: Dichondra repens (repens, meaning "creeping")
Common names: Mercury Bay weed, Mercuryt Bay grass, Kidney weed, Ponyfoot, Dichondra

Dichondra repens is a small, prostrate, herbaceous plant native to New Zealand and many parts of Australia.
The plant often occurs in forest, woodland, and grassland habitat types. It can also be found in lawns, where it may be deliberately planted or come up as a weed. It is common throughout the North,South and Chatam Islands.
The plant has a creeping habit, with roots forming at the nodes. The leaves are kidney-shaped and measure 0.5 to 2 cm across.
The tiny yellowish-green flowers (4-6mm dia) form mostly in summer (Sep-Feb) but can appear at any time of the year. The fruit is a hairy, two-lobed capsule.
This species is cultivated as an ornamental plant, and can be used as a lawn substitute or groundcover in gardens.