This absolutely diminutive, rather rare, summer-flowering perennial is found in the alpine screes and rocky areas from 900–1800m altitude in the mountains of New Zealand's South Island from Nelson to Arthur's Pass where it makes a prostrate creeping carpet of tiny succulent leaves spangled with almost stemless, pretty pink flowers. Later, the curious, erect seed pods are formed, from which the tiny gossamer seed-parachutes are soon blown aloft, but rarely to become a pest!
Seeds can be sown at any time but are best sown in winter or early spring to benefit from a cold spell in the wet compost to break their dormancy. We advise covering seeds very thinly with sand or fine grit to about the depth of the seed size. If the seeds do not come up within 6 to 12 weeks the damp seed tray can be given cold treatment in a fridge for about four weeks. They may still take very many months to appear, so please never discard the pot or tray.
Common name:Red-leaved willow herb