Yerba mansa

Anemopsis californica | Also known as: Lizard tail, Bear root Houttuynia californica | Rating: 5 votes | Print / Pdf

This flowering plant will fill your garden with a sweet honey-like fragrance

Anemopsis californica, lizard tail or bear root is a flowering plant that grows to around a foot in height. It has quite unusual flowers. The flower heads are cone shaped and made up of tiny white flowers; surrounding these cones are large white bracts that look very much like petals. This plant likes moist or boggy soil so it's perfect for planting alongside a garden pond. The flowers have a nice fragrance, sweet and honey-like. After flowering you'll want to dead head this one and prune the foliage back. It will send out runners that produce new plants. When these new plants have taken root you can snip them off from the runner and pot them up individually.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 0.3 - 0.4
Spread [m]
  • 0.6 - 0.9
Dominant flower colour
  • White
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
Foliage in spring
  • Grey-green
Foliage in summer
  • Grey-green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Red shades
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • division
Growth habit
  • Mat-forming
  • Spreading
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
Hardiness zone
  • Z5-8
Heat zone
  • H8-5
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -29 - -7
Heat days
  • 30 - 120
  • poorly-drained
  • boggy
  • water feature
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Aquatic & semiaquatic plants
  • Semiaquatic plants
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • Colours
  • Pond plants
Garden type
  • Bog garden
  • Woodland
  • Cottage garden
  • Pond
Gardening expertise
  • intermediate
Time to reach full size
  • up to 10 years