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Leptinella, sometimes called cotulas, are excellent perennial groundcover plants in sunny and semi-shaded areas, perfect for landscaping rockeries or raised borders. These small evergreen or deciduous groundcover plants from the Asteraceae family are best known to gardeners as Leptinella squalida (synonym Cotula squalida) or Leptinella potentillina, the potentilla cotula. Leptinellas quickly form attractive fern-like foliage mats with bronze or purple reflections, particularly dark in the 'Platt's Black' variety. Native to high-altitude meadows, mainly in New Zealand, these hardy perennials thrive in well-drained, acidic, and humus-rich soils that remain somewhat cool in summer. They are characterised by their low-growing vegetation and toothed or dentate foliage, as well as curious spring to summer flowers in small round heads that resemble buttons. Leptinellas are sometimes used to replace grass in lightly trodden areas (particularly Leptinella squalida), between paving stones or in wall cracks, to soften the edges of rocks in a rockery or Japanese garden, or to adorn an alpine trough...

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