Cymbalaria aequitriloba
Common Name: cymbalaria 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Native Range: Southern Europe
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 0.25 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Lilac blue with yellow throat
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Indigenous to southern Europe and is most comfortable in Mediterranean-type climates (cool summers and moderate winters)... a preference which hardly fits the profile of typical St. Louis weather where it can struggle. Generally intolerant of high heat and humidity. May not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 6 (including St. Louis) where it should be grown in a protected location. Foliage is evergreen in warm winter climates, but is semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area where it will brown up and show considerable decline in harsh winters. Foliage is intolerant of foot traffic. Fast grower but is easy to control. Plants in 3" pots may be spaced 15" apart. May freely self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cymbalaria aequitriloba, commonly called Kenilworth ivy, is an extremely low-growing ground cover which forms a dense mat of tiny, mostly 3-lobed, medium green leaves typically growing 1-2" tall on trailing stems. Tiny snapdragon-like lilac blue (sometimes with a pink tinge) flowers with yellow throats appear in summer. Flowers are quite attractive on close inspection, but perhaps too small to be considered showy. Synonymous with Linaria aequitriloba.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kymbalon and Latin word cymbalum meaning cymbal referring to the leaf shape of some species.

Specific epithet means with three equal lobes.


No serious insect or disease problems. Winter hardiness in the St. Louis area is a concern. Damping off can be a problem with seedlings. Snails, slugs and mites are occasional visitors.


Ground cover for small areas or slopes. Fills in fissures on stone walls or will sprawl over rocks in the rock garden.