Baby’s Tears

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Baby’s tears is a ground cover plant with tiny leaves. It grows in moist areas and has a moss-like appearance.


Common name: Baby’s tears, angel’s tears, helxine.

Botanic name: Soleirolia soleirolii. The plant is named after M. Soleirol, a military man, who collected extensively in Corsica in the early 19th century. This plant is native to areas around the Mediterranean such as the island of Corsica. The plant was previously known as Helxine soleirolii and may still be sold under that name.

Appearance: An evergreen, emerald-green creeping ground cover with tiny leaves. It is a soft, velvet-like carpet growing 2.5cm (1″) high.

Best climate:

It will grow in most areas of Australia although in very cold areas it may die back over winter (Diagram 1).


  • Grows well in shaded areas in a moist soil.
  • Water well.
  • Can be divided easily.
  • Frost sensitive.

Best look:

  • Potted in a terracotta tub or hanging basket, either by itself or as a ground cover around other plants.
  • Ground cover in a rock garden but protect from hot sun.
  • Ground cover in a shady, fern garden.

Getting started:

Plants are readily available at garden centres and nurseries throughout Australia and cost around $9.95 for a 15cm (6″) pot. Alternatively dig up a small section from an established clump to plant in your own garden.