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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Solanales

Familia: Convolvulaceae
Tribus: Dichondreae
Genus: Dichondra
Species: D. argentea – D. brachypoda – D. brevifolia – D. carolinensis – D. donelliana – D. evolvulacea – D. macrocalyx – D. micrantha – D. microcalyx – D. nivea – D. occidentalis – D. parvifolia – D. recurvata – D. repens – D. sericea
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Dichondra in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 November 08. Reference page.


Dichondra J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Char. Gen. Pl.: 39 (1776).

Type species: Dichondra repens J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.


Steripha Banks ex Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 81 (1790).
Demidofia J.F.Gmel., Syst. Nat.: 458 (1791).
Escallonia Mutis, Linn. Corresp. 2: 532 (1821), nom. illeg.
Dichondropsis Brandegee, Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 3: 388 (1909).

Primary references

Forster, J.R. & Forster, J.G.A., Char. Gen. Pl.: 39 (1776).


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Dichondra in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 November 08. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2019. Dichondra. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2019 November 08. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Dichondra. Published online. Accessed: November 08 2019.
Tropicos.org 2019. Dichondra. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 08 November 2019.

Vernacular names
English: ponysfoot

Dichondra is a small genus of flowering plants in the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. They are prostrate, perennial, herbaceous plants, with creeping stems which take root readily at the leaf nodes. The flowers are white, greenish or yellowish, 2–3 mm diameter. Members of the genus are commonly known as ponysfoots[2] and are native to tropical and cool temperate regions around the world.


The genus name is derived from the Greek words δίς (dis), meaning "two", and χόνδρος (chondros), meaning "grain". It refers to the fruits.[3]

The number of species is disputed, with some authorities accepting only two species. The following species are recognised in the genus Dichondra by the International Plant Names Index (IPNI):[4]

Dichondra argentea Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. – silver dichondra — Mexico, Texas.[5]
Dichondra brachypoda Wooton & Standl. – New Mexico ponysfoot
Dichondra brevifolia Buchanan
Dichondra carolinensis Michx. – Carolina ponysfoot [6]
Dichondra donelliana Tharp & M.C.Johnst. – California ponysfoot [7]
Dichondra evolvulacea (L.f.) Britton
Dichondra macrocalyx Meisn.
Dichondra micrantha Urb. – Asian ponysfoot
Dichondra microcalyx Meisn. – "Oreja de ratón — South America[8]
Dichondra nivea (Brandegee) Tharp & M.C.Johnst.
Dichondra occidentalis House – western dichondra — Southern California coast.[9]
Dichondra parvifolia Meisn.
Dichondra recurvata Tharp & M.C.Johnst. – oakwoods ponysfoot
Dichondra repens J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. — kidney weed
Dichondra sericea Sw. – silverleaf ponysfoot[2][10]

Cultivation and uses

Some Dichondra species are cultivated as ornamental plants, with cultivar selections also available. Dichondra micrantha is used as a groundcover. Dichondra argentea is a light silver leaved accent plant. The Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls' cultivar is often used for trailing over the rims of potted plants, and has lower water needs.[11]

Dichondra micrantha was very popular in Southern California in the 1950s and 1960s as a grass substitute for lawns. Each leaf consists of a stem with a nearly circular or kidney-shaped horizontal leaf top, between 8–25 mm in diameter with a 20–35 mm petiole. A healthy lawn consisting entirely of Dichondra is fairly difficult to start, grow, and maintain. Neighbors' Bermuda grass often seeded in, with Oxalis sp. and other weeds.

In some habitats and landscapes of the United States, some of the non-native Dichondra species are treated as weeds.

"Genus: Dichondra J. R. Forst. & G. Forst". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-12-11. Archived from the original on 2000-12-07. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
"Dichondra". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
Everett, Thomas H. (1981). The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture. Vol. 4. Courier Corporation. p. 1059. ISBN 978-0-8240-7234-6.
"Dichondra J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
San Marcos Growers treatment: Dichondra argentea (silver dichondra)
Encyclopedia of Life: Information on Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina Ponysfoot, Grass Ponysfoot)
Jepson: Dichondra donelliana
Dichondra microcalyx Archived 2015-06-10 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
Jepson: Dichondra occidentalis
"GRIN Species Records of Dichondra". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-04-30.

Missouri Botanical Garden horticultural treatment: Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'

Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.
"Dichondra J.R.Forst. & G.Forst". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.

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