Ambrosia Hispida

Ambrosia Hispida has a unique aroma that is so distinct that when I crush those soft leaves in my hand the smell flashes back memories of my childhood days in Barbados when we would vacations on the Atlantic Coast of the island.  On days and nights when the sea would be raging and the waves crashing down that smell would saturate the sea air and eventually became hardwired my brain.

 

COMMON NAME AMBROSIA HISPIDA
BOTANICAL NAME Ambrosia hispida
CATEGORY Ground Cover for seaside
HEIGHT 1 Foot
ZONES 10 to 11
NATIVE Florida Keys & West Indies
LIGHT Full Sun
SALT TOLERANCE Yes

 May first plant came from Sea Oats Beach in Metecumbe.  I was walking the beach when my eyes fell on a large patch of that lacy leaf Ambriosia.  Of course, I returned home with a snip in my pocket which I placed in a pot in the shade and with no problem it rooted and voila I had my first plant.

I initially planted Ambrosia about 20 feet from the water and it did well during the dry season but eventually as the rains came Mealy Bugs arrived and proceeded to overtake the plant.

More cuttings and I moved it to the seawall where it settled down happily for years.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Wilma took it's toll and I lost Ambrosia in the midst of all of that turmoil.

Fortunately, by the time that Wilma hit us Ambrosia was available in some of the commercial nurseries and eventually I was able to replace it.

Ambrosia sprawls and needs room to do that.  It puts down shallow roots as it gains territory and this helps it to move to spots where it is happy.

Flowers are white but relatively insignificent.  The beauty of Ambrosia is in it's lacey looking leaves.