Dendyi's Brass Buttons Leptinella dendyi

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Dendy's leptinella


Leptinella dendyi, commonly known as the Brass Buttons plant, is a distinctive ground-covering plant characterized by its finely textured foliage. The leaves are feathery and fern-like, creating a dense mat of greenery. The color of the leaves is a deep green, sometimes with a hint of bronze or purple, which can add a striking contrast against other plants or surfaces. The Brass Buttons plant produces tiny button-like flowers that are yellow-green in color. These flowers are quite small but appear in abundance, creating a soft, almost moss-like effect when in bloom. The overall appearance of Leptinella dendyi is delicate and intricate, giving a whimsical and fairy-tale-like quality to gardens and landscape designs where it is used as a ground cover.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Dendyi's Brass Buttons, New Zealand Brass Buttons, Miniature Brass Buttons

    • Common names

      Leptinella dendyi

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Leptinella dendyi, commonly known as brass buttons, does not have a well-documented profile regarding its toxicity to humans. There is limited information available on the effects of this plant when ingested by humans. If you suspect poisoning from any plant, it's important to seek medical advice.

    • To pets

      Brass buttons is not well-known for its toxicity to pets, and there is limited information available about its potential poisonous effects. However, as a general precaution, it's advisable to prevent pets from ingesting plants of unknown toxicity. If you suspect your pet has consumed brass buttons and is showing symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.16 feet (5 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      New Zealand


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Groundcover: Leptinella dendyi spreads quickly to form a dense mat, which can help prevent soil erosion and suppress weeds.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Its unique fern-like foliage and yellow flowers add texture and color to garden landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is relatively tolerant of dry conditions, requiring minimal watering.
    • Foot Traffic Resilience: The plant can withstand light foot traffic, making it suitable for use between pavers and in lawns.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires little maintenance once established, with no need for mowing or frequent care.
    • Cold Hardy: Capable of surviving in cooler climates, it is a hardy choice for a variety of garden zones.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ground cover: Leptinella dendyi, commonly known as brass buttons, can hold soil in place, preventing erosion in vulnerable areas due to its mat-forming habit.
    • Lawn alternative: Homeowners may use brass buttons as a low-maintenance, walkable ground cover alternative to traditional grass lawns in cooler climates.
    • Fairy gardens: Its small scale and delicate foliage make brass buttons a favorite for use in whimsical fairy garden designs.
    • Stepping stone paths: Brass buttons can grow between stepping stones, tolerating foot traffic while adding a soft green accent to garden pathways.
    • Green roof planting: Its shallow root system and drought tolerance make brass buttons suitable for green roof installations.
    • Living mulch: Brass buttons can serve as a living mulch under larger plants, helping to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Hobbyist miniature landscapes: Model enthusiasts may use brass buttons to create realistic miniature landscapes or model train scenery.
    • Aromatic garden addition: While not strongly scented, brass buttons can contribute a subtle fragrance when brushed or crushed underfoot in the garden.
    • Butterfly gardens: The plant may occasionally attract and provide a landing spot for butterflies and other beneficial insects.
    • Thematic planting: Brass buttons can be incorporated into thematic gardens, such as those focused on texture and contrast due to their feathery foliage.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Leptinella is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Leptinella is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Leptinella dendyi, also known as Brass Buttons, is a hardy ground cover that can thrive in various conditions, symbolizing the ability to persist and adapt.
    • Perseverance: The plant's vigorous nature and tendency to spread across the ground represent determination and the will to overcome obstacles.
    • Unity: With its interconnected root system and dense mat-like growth, Brass Buttons exemplifies interconnectedness and the strength found in unity.
    • Healing: Historically, some Leptinella species have been used in traditional medicine, so Brass Buttons may also carry a symbolic meaning of healing and restoration.

Every week
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Brass Buttons should be watered moderately, maintaining slight moisture without over-saturating the soil. It's best to water this plant once every week with approximately 16-24 ounces of water, depending on the size of the plant and the environmental conditions. During the growing season in spring and summer, you might need to water more frequently, especially if the plant is in a warmer, sunnier location. Reduce watering in the fall and winter when the plant is not actively growing. It's crucial to ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent water-logging which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Brass Buttons thrive in full to partial sunlight, making them suitable for areas where they can receive at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They can tolerate some light shade, especially in hotter climates, which can prevent the leaves from scorching. However, too much shade can lead to sparse growth and fewer flowers, so a sunny spot with a bit of afternoon shade is ideal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Brass Buttons are resilient and can handle a range of temperatures, preferring an ideal range between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive minimum temperatures of approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate up to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperatures outside of these ranges can stress the plant and affect its growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Brass Buttons is primarily done to maintain their compact shape and to remove any dead or damaged foliage to encourage healthy growth and appearance. Prune lightly during the growing season as needed to keep the growth dense and to prevent the plants from becoming too leggy. The best time for more extensive pruning is late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Brass Buttons (Leptinella dendyi), the best soil mix is one that is well-draining, such as a mix of peat, perlite, and sand. A slightly acidic to neutral soil pH of 6.0-7.0 is ideal for this plant, ensuring healthy growth and foliage development.

  • plantRepotting

    Brass Buttons (Leptinella dendyi) does not need frequent repotting. It can be repotted once every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its current container, to refresh the soil and provide room for growing.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Brass Buttons (Leptinella dendyi) prefer moderate humidity levels, around 40-60%. They can tolerate a range of atmospheric moisture levels but thrive best when not too dry.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Brass Buttons in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, well-draining soil, and water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Leptinella dendyi, also known as "Button fern," begins its life cycle as a spore, which germinates to develop into a prothallus—the fern's gametophyte stage. This heart-shaped prothallus houses both male and female reproductive structures that, when mature, allow for internal fertilization. Upon successful fertilization, it gives rise to a new sporophyte, which is the fern's leafy stage commonly recognized as the plant itself. The sporophyte grows and forms fronds that unroll from fiddleheads, gradually expanding and maturing to produce sporangia on the undersides of the fronds. These sporangia release spores when they mature, which are dispersed by wind to begin the cycle anew. As a perennial, Leptinella dendyi will pass through these stages repeatedly throughout its life, which can span several years in suitable growing conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the Leptinella dendyi, commonly known as Brass Buttons, is through division of the rhizomes. This is typically done in late winter or early spring, when the plant is not actively growing. To propagate by division, gently lift the plant from the ground and use a sharp, clean knife or spade to divide the rhizome into pieces, each with several leaves. Ensure that each division has at least one shoot or bud. Replant the divisions at the same depth they were growing before, spacing them about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) apart to allow room for growth. The soil should be well-draining and divisions should be kept moist until they are established.