UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Anemopsis californica

an-uh-MOP-sis kal-i-FOR-ni-kuh
Common Name
Yerba Mansa
Plant Type
Mature Size
2 wide x 0.33 - 1 ft(0.1 - 0.3 m) tall
Water Requirements
Moderate: water weekly until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
  • Deer resistant
Flower Color
White, Cream, Red
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Anemopsis_californica_by Norman Flaigg unrestricted from wildflower.org
Yerba Mansa or lizard tail, is a perennial flowering plant within the family Saururaceae. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Anemopsis. It is native to southwestern North America. In early spring numerous tiny white flowers are borne on a cone which is surrounded by 4-9 large white spoon-shaped bracts that look like petals. As it matures, the visible part of the plant develops red stains, eventually turning bright red in the fall. Yerba mansa means "calming herb" in Spanish (yerba = "herb"; mansa = "calm or tranquil").   Yerba Mansa requires moist soil, so best to plant in streambeds, seeps or other damp areas. It goes dormant and basically disappears from late summer to early winter, and re-sprouts from the roots in late winter. It produces beautiful white flowers in the early spring that remain on the plant until it starts to go dormant in late summer. It will often spread out like a carpet throughout the damper soil, and choke out any other plants in the area, and in particular while it's blooming, it's quite beautiful.

Where to See
  • Not currently planted

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