Turkey Tangle Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) Quick Facts
Host plant to Common Buckeye, Gorgone Checkerspot, Mangrove Buckeye, Phaon Crescent, Tropical Buckeye, White Peacock
Nectar plant for many, especially small butterflies like hairstreaks, crescents, and skippers
Native to the southern half of the US
Perennial in USDA zones 8-11, evergreen in climates without frost, annual in the north
Full to partial sun
Tolerates a wide range of soil types and drainage
Wet to dry moisture
Great in containers
White and purple flowers bloom from spring to fall
Grows up to 6 inches tall
Space plants 1.5-2 feet apart
Drought tolerant once established
Moderately deer resistant
Frogfruit Feeding Frenzy
Turkey Tangle Frogfruit, (also called Turkey Tangle Fogfruit, Matchweed, Texas Frogfruit, Frogfruit, Common Lippia, Sawtooth Fogfruit, or Capeweed) is a small plant that can play a big role in a butterfly garden. It is a caterpillar host for the Common Buckeye, Gorgone Checkerspot, Mangrove Buckeye, Phaon Crescent, Tropical Buckeye, and the spectacular White Peacock. Not satisfied with just feeding several species in the larval stage, it is also a valuable nectar plant for many adult butterflies, especially small ones like hairstreaks, crescents, and skippers. Its unusual flowers bloom from spring to fall, providing nectar and beauty throughout the growing season. This all-season all-star is even evergreen in climates with no or infrequent frost!
Turkey Tangle Frogfruit Growing Conditions
Phyla nodiflora is notable for its versatility, adapting to a wide range of soil types and moisture levels. It’s tolerant of both drought and wet soils. It may even be able to survive temporary standing water! The diversity of garden conditions it can thrive in reflects the diversity of its native range, from the humid South and Central American tropics and the Florida Everglades to the arid California coast and the southern Great Plains. Deer and other mammalian herbivores may occasionally browse, but rarely do much damage to this resilient plant. Cold winters and full shade are two of the few things it cannot survive.
Low-growing Turkey Tangle Frogfruit is increasing in popularity with people in the southern half of the US looking for a lawn alternative or ornamental ground cover, as it can withstand light foot traffic and rarely gets over 6 inches tall. However, its vigorous and adaptable nature does mean that it can easily overtake slower-growing or more delicate perennials and annuals and is not generally suitable as ground cover in garden beds. If you’re concerned about its tendency to spread, don’t worry! It thrives in containers and rambles attractively over the sides of hanging baskets, meaning it can be a valuable asset in even the tiniest gardens.
Add to Your Butterfly Garden!
If you love saying the name, you will definitely love the plant! Turkey Tangle Frogfruit isn’t just fun to say – it is fun to watch it provide for so many butterflies. At Joyful Butterfly, we promise our plants are always safe for caterpillars, butterflies and other pollinators.