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Yerba Mansa

Anemopsis californica

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Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Yerba Mansa flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Yerba Mansa flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  14 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Yerba-mansa, Lizard Tail


This variety is perfect for stream or pondside planting, or wet container planting; young plants are produced by runners; the unusual flowers are quite attractive above the green foliage, which streaks red in summer and turns dazzling red in fall

Ornamental Features

Yerba Mansa features showy lightly-scented creamy white daisy flowers with white bracts rising above the foliage from late spring to mid summer, which emerge from distinctive red flower buds. Its crinkled oval leaves are green in color with pointy buttery yellow spines and tinges of red. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous red in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Yerba Mansa is an herbaceous annual with a low habit of growth, spreading atop the surface of the water. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Yerba Mansa is ideally suited for growing in a pond, water garden or patio water container, and is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Water Gardens
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Yerba Mansa will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the water, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. As an aquatic plant, it requires a suitable water garden environment and will benefit from special planting and ongoing care practices; consult one of our in-store experts for further details and instructions. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Yerba Mansa is a fine choice for the water garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when grown in outdoor pots and containers, aquatic plants like this one will require a special growing environment that meets their requirement for consistent moisture.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Garden  Container  Bog  Water 
Flowers  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features