Pilea nummulariifolia

Pilea nummulariifolia underneath a cane Begonia in the garden of Ross and Christine Bolwell in Sydney

Pilea nummulariifolia is a frost-sensitive groundcover from tropical South America and the West Indies, and it is sometimes known colloquially as creeping Charlie. It has attractively textured, glossy green leaves and is often used as a trailing plant in hanging baskets or terrariums, but like many houseplants, it thrives in our warm temperate climate and can be grown in a shady area outdoors to form a lush and undemanding groundcover, as illustrated above.

Pilea nummulariifolia with Acorus gramineus Ogon, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

It needs some moisture to do well. Very cold weather will knock it back but it should recover from the temperatures experienced in an average Sydney winter. It looks pretty grown with other groundcovers to form a tapestry effect or in an attractive pot. Propagation is by detaching rooted pieces of the stems. Its flowers are insignificant.