Dwarf, perennial herbs, natives of India, Australia, New Zealand and the Malayan Archipelago; they belong to the Snapdragon family, Scrophulariaceae. The name Mazus is from mazos, a teat, from the tubercled formation of the corolla.
Creeping Plants for the Rock Garden. Mazus Pumilio is a very pretty dwarf plant of creeping habit for the rock garden. The spoon-shaped leaves, with waved edges, are only about 1/2 in. high, and the comparatively large, pale violet flowers, almost stemless, are extremely attractive, and are produced abundantly in summer.
The plant forms a close mat, and is invaluable not only as a carpet in the rock garden for covering small choice bulbs, but for clothing the sides of rock-garden paths, and for planting in the crevices between the flagstones of paved paths. It is a native of New Zealand and is reasonably hardy in fairly light, rich soil, but is not dependably hardy at New York City.
Mazus Pumilio is very easily propagated by division of the roots. Portions of the plant tnay be dug up in spring, pulled to pieccs, planted in light soil in a cold frame, and kept shaded until established, when they will be ready for planting out in their permanent quarters.
For the Crevices of Flagstone Paths. Mazus radicans (Mimulus radicans) is a close, dense creeper, its broad leaves lying flat upon the ground almost in the manner of Liverwort. The leaves are a curious brownish-bronze in color. The flowers, which are large for the size of the plant, are much like those of a Mimulus in shape, but greatly flattened; they are white and violet in color.
Mazus radicans is an excellent plant for clothing the sides of paths in the rock garden, as a close carpet over bulbs, and for the crevices in flagstone paths. It may also be used to good advantage in the alpine lawn, where it mingles well with the dwarf creeping Thymes and other turf-forming plants.
This plant, which flowers in June, will, in favorable climates, creep through the grass of an ordinary turf lawn if the situation is fairly moist, holding its own with the grasses, and, by reason of its very prostrate habit, escaping the lawn mower.
Mazus radicans is very easily propagated by simple division of the roots. Plants should be lifted in spring, pulled to pieces, planted in light sandy soil in a cold frame, and there kept shaded until established, when they may be transferred to their permanent quarters. They are not reliably hardy in the North.
Spreads Freely and Flowers Profusely. Mazus reptans (often wrongly called Mazus rugosus) is an extremely pretty dwarf carpeting plant with running stems, which root as they go, and light violet flowers, handsomely spotted with gold, in summer. The plant likes light, rich soil, and a fairly moist situation; it is a most valuable carpeter, never exceeding 1 in. in height, spreading freely without being too invasive, and flowering with the utmost freedom. It is excellent for clothing low-lying places in the rock garden, such as the sides of paths, and is a grand plant for running through the crevices of flagstone paths. This species, like M. radicans mentioned above, will invade lawns and maintain itself there, even in eastern North America.
Propagation may be done by division of the roots in spring, or soft cuttings may be taken in spring and rooted in a cold frame, kept close and shaded. The young plants may be potted in small pots, or put in a nursery bed of light, rich soil until large enough for their permanent quarters in the rock garden or elsewhere. M. reptans is a native of the Himalayas and is the hardiest species, living over winter satisfactorily at New York City and further north.