Plecostachys serpyllifolia
Photo by Wiki Commons user Daderot

petite licorice


  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of High Potential Risk
  • This plant has been rated Watch by the California Invasive Plant Council


Cobweb bush, also known as petite licorice, is a fine-textured grey-leafed plant from the South African Cape. It spreads to form a dense, low growing shrub 4 ft. by 2-3 ft. tall. In coastal areas, particularly in the South Coast region of California it has been spreading into non-irrigated areas. See Calflora for a map of occurrences in California outside of cultivation. San Marcos growers voluntarily discontinued producing this plant because of its tendency to seed and escape gardens, particularly in salt marshes and sloughs in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It should not be used in gardens interfacing non-cultivated wildland coastal areas.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

This plant was included in the 2016 and 2017 nursery surveys. It was found at only one nursery in 2016, likely because of naming confusion. It is often sold under the name Helichrysum petiolare 'Petite Licorice' which we have seen in the 2017 survey results because Helichrysum petiolare is also being surveyed for. We believe with the 2017 survey that we have more accurately assessed it's presence in retail nurseries. In 2017 it was only found at 2.2% of nurseries, which is below the 3% threshold that plants must be found at to be considered for addition to the plant list.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources:

Additional photos of petite licorice (Plecostachys serpyllifolia)