rockmat Rosaceae Petrophytum
caespitosum (Nutt.) Rydb. symbol: PECA12
Leaf: Alternate (appear whorled), simple, evergreen, spatulate, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, entire martgins, grayish green and silky often with pinkish edges.
Flower: A narrow 1 to 3 inch spike-like cluster of small white to light pink flowers on a single upright stem (2 to 3 inches tall), resembles a bottle brush, appear in late summer and early fall.
Fruit: Small light brown follicles in a tight spike-like cluster (several inches in length), ripen in late fall and persist through winter.
Twig: Gray, densely covered in foliage.
Bark: Gray, irregularly scaly.
Form: A prostrate, dense mat-forming shrub reaching only 6 to 8 inches high (with the exception of flower spike). Mats are often several feet across.
Additional Range Information: Petrophytum caespitosum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting rockmat.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson