Richardia brasiliensis: Tropical Mexican clover

Family: Rubiaceae
Common name: Tropical Mexican clover, Brazil pusley, White-eye

If you walk with your eyes to the ground in vacant plots, roadsides or hillsides, you are very likely to encounter this pretty white flower. Tropical Mexican clovers form green carpets on the ground if left undisturbed, covering the area with tiny flowers. They belong to the family Rubiaceae with about 15 species of flowering plants.

Tropical Mexican clovers usually grow in warm, temperate climates and are not considered dangerously invasive. They have broad, almost triangular leaves with tiny hairs along over them. The teeth at the edges of the leaves is very prominent. They grow to a height of 6-10 inches and spreads horizontally over large areas.

Tropical Mexican clover flowers usually have 5 of 6 petals, seen at the tip of the stem with many sepal cups holding the bunches flowers. Stamens are white and very prominent. Stem is a deep reddish-brown, growing mostly horizontal enabling the plants to spread quickly.

It is very difficult to find the hairy fruits of the Tropical Mexican clover; most sepal cups staying empty after the flowers fall away. When in bloom, the flowers grown in clusters of 15-20 and looks like little stars on the ground. These white or light pink flowers attract butterflies and bees with their nectar.

Topical Mexican clovers are used in treatment of diabetes.

Propagation is from seeds or stem cuttings.

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