Plant Profile: Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny

The Guangzhou Garden RHS Chelsea 2021 perfectly illustrated the role for chartreuse foliage plants in a late season planting scheme and none better than the visually appealing Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia.

Its round, penny-sized shiny Chartreuse leaves clasp to each side of its stem creating a beautiful chain that cascaded over the natural waterfall, along the stream and trailed throughout the woodland floor. Its design versatility was emphasized by its ability to act as groundcover, accent plant and, a visually unifying marginal plant.

Creeping Jenny is native to the British Isles and is a hardy perennial, best grown in part-shade to sun and is hardy to zone (UK) 4, it can grow to approximately 50 mm high. A plant which enjoys very moist soil or water up to 30 mm deep, making it a useful marginal plant for the water garden and highly suited to rain gardens. Throughout the months June to August small but short lived pretty yellow flowers delight, providing added beauty and interest. The species is hermaphrodite and is pollinated by Bees and flies. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in very heavy clay soil. Suitable pH range includes acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.

Creeping Jenny can be rather prolific and, in some locations may even be considered to be invasive, but it’s easily checked and can be managed by pruning, pulling or plucking. As per most species in this genus it seems to be immune to the predations of rabbits and is not subject to any pests or diseases. This plant can be used as a great void filler to soften edges of paths in-between rocks, or paving. Its cheerful, bright leaves create a beautiful contrast against the cool buffs or greys of wet stone. Besides visual appeal, Creeping Jenny offers medicinal care. In traditional Chinese medicine, Lysimachia is used to treat gall stones and urinary bladder stones. The plant contains a number of phenolic acids and is also used by herbalists for treating wounds. Some practitioners use the plant to battle gout symptoms. As a resilient and regenerative plant Creeping Jenny is easy to propagate.

The plant naturally spreads by both seeds and rhizomes and can even be rooted in water. The easiest way to establish new plants is to dig up a portion of an established patch, separate it, and simple plant into a new suitable location. A plant that is resilient, regenerative, attractive to pollinators, useful marginal filter plant and native to British Isles makes it a useful candidate for nature-based solutions. Sometimes, referred to as Moneywort it can indeed by a money saver when looking to fill those voids whilst proving many environmental benefits.

By Peter Chmiel, Director of Grant Associates

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