Othonna capensis
Common Name: little pickles 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 5 to 10
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.25 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in dry to medium, enriched, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of some dappled shade as well as poor, rocky soils, erosion-prone slopes, heat, wind, and salt spray. Adaptable to a variety of moisture levels as long as well-draining conditions are provided. Drought tolerant once established. Requires a dry rest period in winter. Remove spent flowers to increase reblooming. Hardy in Zones 5-10.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Othonna capensis, commonly called little pickles, is a low-growing, creeping, succulent ground cover with a trailing, mat-forming habit. It is endemic to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, where it is found growing in dry, rocky scrublands on the southern coast and the Little Karoo region. Plants only reach up to 4" tall, and will spread to fill a 12-16" area. The blue-green leaves (around 1" long) are succulent, upward-facing, and oblong in shape. The foliage will turn slightly maroon under drought conditions. Small, yellow, daisy-like flowers (around 0.5" wide) appear in summer and are held on slender, 2" tall stems above the foliage. The blooms tend to remain closed on cloudy days without direct sun. Attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators.

The genus name Othonna comes from the Greek word for "linen", possibly in reference to the downy white hairs covering the foliage of some members of this genus.

The specific epithet capensis means "from the cape", in reference to this plant's native range.

The common name little pickles refers to the shape and size of the foliage.


No major pest or disease problems. Root rot can occur if excess moisture is provided, particularly in winter.


An excellent ground cover or edger for desert gardens, seaside gardens, xeriscaping, and rock gardens. Also suitable for containers or retaining wall plantings, where its trailing habit can be accentuated.