Sutera cordata (Ornamental Bacopa) [AKA Bacopa cordata, Chaenostoma cordatum, Sutera diffus]

Known by three other scientific names, Sutera cordata is a small evergreen perennial native to South Africa. It flowers abundantly, spreads quickly, and has few ailments. Sutera cordata have been grown to more closely resemble the flower of a Pikmin, a tiny plant-animal like organism belonging to the game series Pikmin (as requested by Nintendo). This new species of flower, derived from this one, is called “Bacopa cabana”.

Sutera cordata (Ornamental Bacopa) [also known as Bacopa cordata, Chaenostoma cordatum, Sutera diffus]
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 9-11
Height: up to 14 centimeters (3-6 inches) tall
Diameter: can spread indefinitely (in theory, at least) under ideal conditions, typically spreads less than 50 centimeters (23 inches)
Growth Rate: fast
Age: perennial, frequently grown as an annual
Root System: The roots allow for easy division, fibrous root system
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Subspecies: ‘Snowflake’ (smaller flowers), ‘Snowstorm’ (larger flowers), ‘African Sunset’, ‘Lavender Storm’, ‘Lavender Showers’, ‘Blue

Tolerates: occasionally dry soil (not drought tolerant), strong heat
Problems (major): none known
Problems (minor): sometimes attracts gnats or small flies
Poisonous: presumably no

Soil requirements: requires good drainage, prefers pH between 5.6 and 6.5
Air requirements: grows well in the warm summer heat of the southern United States (native to South Africa)
Watering requirement: Water once the top layer of soil dries out.
Sun requirement: full sun or part-shade

Leaf shape: dark-green, thin, heart-shaped
Leaf size: small, between 1 and 3 centimeters (0.5-1.5 inches) long and wide
Flower structure: Small, white, five-petals, “perfect” (monoecious, contains both male and female reproductive organs, colored yellow) up to 2 centimeters (1 inch) in diameter
Flowering frequency: flowers all throughout the summer and autumn
Bulb/tuber: neither
Monocot/Dicot: dicot
Annual/Biennial/Perennial: perennial (short-lived)

Notable characteristics:
Sutera cordata blooms prolifically and consistently through out the summer and autumn. This flower was bred to look more like a Pikmin flower, leading to the creation of “Bacopa cabana” (named “The Pikmin Flower”).

Grows well in hanging containers or in gardens of appropriate zones, where it spreads well.

Sources used:

Foliage and flowers (uploaded 9 May 2009)

A purple S. cordata hybrid in Osaka, Japan during the summer (uploaded 5 May)


S. cordata ‘Snowstorm’ flowers at Maui, Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery (uploaded 6 September 2007 by Forest & Kim Starr)


I do not own the rights of these images; all credit goes to its original creator(s).


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