How To Gardening Plant Portraits Axilflower or Magic Carpet Yellow

Axilflower or Magic Carpet Yellow

By Nancy Norris | June 1, 2023

| Last updated on June 5, 2023

An annual with bright yellow flowers

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Common name: Axilflower, Magic Carpet Yellow, Baby Jump Up

Latin name: Mecardonia x ‘Magic Carpet Yellow’, M. x ‘Gold Dust’, and M. x ‘Gold Flake’

Plant type: Annual

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11, or grown as an annual

Cultural needs: Moist, well drained, neutral or slightly acidic soil; full sun

Plant size: 4″ high x 6-12″ spread

Mecardonia hybrids flower freely from spring through fall, if given enough moisture and fertilizer. Tiny yellow flowers are born in leaf axils, thus the common name of axilflower. A profusion of bright, yellow, bell-shaped flowers will light up the garden and call attention to nearby objects. Great for photos, the flowers are considered “self-cleaning,” meaning you don’t need to deadhead or trim off spent blooms. Although overwatering can cause root rot, these plants need plenty of moisture, so incorporate adequate organic matter into the soil.

model steam locomotive approaches clump of yellow flowers
Axilflower. Nancy Norris photo

Here, atop a retaining wall in Robin Patterson’s Florida railway, even a monsoon won’t be too much because the wall is always draining and mecardonia will appreciate the high humidity. In dryer climates, afternoon shade will help, but full sun (at least five hours) is needed to initiate buds. Plant starts in rock walls, near buildings, or in a meadow. In Zones other than 9-11, cut back the plants before the first frost and bring indoors until spring, or treat them as annuals. Flowers barely reach 1/2″ across – smaller on M. x ‘Gold Dust,’ an award-winning Proven Winner:

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