Perennial Peanut Grass: An Evergreen Ground Cover

Perennial peanut grass is a perennial flowering evergreen ground cover that thrives in warm climates. 

Originally published October 2015; this post has been updated.

Field of perennial peanut grass with yellow flowers.

When we moved into our new place, my son was excited to find that there was perennial peanut grass growing. He’d seen it in use at a farm he worked on and was a big fan. It was new to me, but I’m always up for learning about a new plant.


pretty garden with tomatoes and flowers - cover of book "edible front yard garden"The 5-Gallon Garden

New to gardening? Limited on space? The 5-Gallon Garden gives you the skills you need to grow food in the space you have. Get started with your garden today!

Perennial peanut (Arachis) is an evergreen, low-growing groundcover. There are different varieties; some spread underground via rhizomes, others creep along the ground and root at their nodes. 

The common name, perennial peanut, is used for a number of different cultivars. If you’re looking for a specific type, be sure to ask for it by it’s Latin name to be sure you’re getting what you want.

yellow flower of perennial peanut grass

Reasons to love Perennial Peanut Grass


  • It’s a pretty, perennial flowering ground cover.
  • It out-competes less desirable grasses and weeds.
  • It’s a nitrogen fixer.
  • Perennial Peanut is resistant to pests.
  • It can be used as forage for livestock. (My bunnies love it.)
  • The flowers are edible.
  • It shades the ground, helping to hold moisture in.
  • It’s drought tolerant.
  • It’s great for erosion control.

It makes me think about when I worked in a retail nursery many years ago. Customers would come in asking for an alternative to grass lawn in an effort to cut back on water usage and general maintenance. There were several options to offer — until they said they also wanted to use the area like they would a lawn. That made it harder.

I’ve been observing it for more than a year now, and I have to say: Perennial peanut would have been a great solution.

7 chickens pecking on perennial peanut grass

RelatedPerennial Vegetables and Fruits: Plant Once, Harvest for Years

Evergreen Groundcover

We have peanut grass growing in several areas. A good portion of the ground in our orchard is covered with it. That’s also where our chickens range, and in spite of two dozen hens tromping on it (and nibbling on it) every day, it remains thick and lush.

Perennial peanut grass handles human foot traffic well, too. Where this evergreen ground cover is mowed, it’s nice for walking on. It’s also taken over a couple of wilder areas where we don’t mow. In those areas, it’s close to a foot high, but has prevented the aggressive weeds we have here from taking root.

(Note: There are different varieties of perennial peanut grass that may vary in height. I’m not sure what specific variety we have.)

evergreen groundcover growing below ferns

RelatedNatural Weed Killers – 11 Ways to Kill Weeds Without Poison

Of course, the biggest drawback to perennial peanut grass is the fact that it’s only an evergreen ground cover in frost-free climates.

In areas where it gets frosty but the rhizomes don’t freeze, it dies down for winter and sprouts back as the weather warms. Some people seed an annual rye grass over perennial peanut grass for green during the winter months.

Propagation of perennial peanut grass is generally done by transplanting the rhizomes or via cuttings.

close up of yellow flowers on peanut grass.

It’s easy to dig a shovel full out of the center of the peanut grass and transplant to another location. Once it takes root, it will start spreading, slowly taking over the area, creating a pretty evergreen ground cover.

Just be aware that it can creep into areas where you don’t necessarily want it. Peanut grass is very deep rooted and once it has become situated, removing it is no easy task. Plant it where you’re certain you want it for years to come!

Avoid planting it near cultivated vegetable beds, as it can spread into those spaces easily. 

Perennial peanut grass with yellow flowers

Click to save or share!

About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

36 comments… add one
  • Mary Doan Jul 29, 2023 @ 2:52

    Please tell us where to get it? I have checked online and there are several varieties. Our city is using this in the center islands of streets here and it is VERY beautiful. Some of the places online want $15.00 for FOUR seeds. Tell me there is another way to get some of it.

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 10, 2023 @ 14:22

      Can you get permission to take cuttings from the center islands? That’s what I’d do! Otherwise, Google. I don’t know anyone specifically that I’d recommend.

  • SAL Dec 26, 2022 @ 11:37

    Would peanut grass work as ground cover for a septic mound? Or is that a horrible idea due to the root system being 5-6 feet deep?

    Also would it survive in northeast Florida where temps may drop below zero at night rarely but does happen?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 4, 2023 @ 12:59

      If you have a local cooperative extension office, I’d ask there. I’m not familiar enough with your region to say!

  • Norrie Aug 27, 2022 @ 20:12

    I love all of your articles. I live in planting zone ‘hot as hell California’. I really don’t think anything thrives here. I like the look and sound of the Perennial Peanut Grass. I don’t know any people out here in the country where I live, and I doubt that my friends in town with all the nice green lawns will have any of this in their yards, so how or where should I get some of this? Is it something that garden centers would carry with all their ground covers? Thanks for sharing all the information you send us readers.

    • AttainableSustainable Aug 30, 2022 @ 4:56

      Take a look at your garden center, if not you can probably find some online!

    • EJ Verdi Mar 5, 2023 @ 12:39

      I live in Cali as well and there are tons of drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and perennials that grow very well even if you live in the desert parts. Look for things that are recommended to grow in Phoenix AZ if you live in a desert area. Start with legume trees and shrubs and fill in with legume perennials. Desert Museum Palo Verde is a wonderful tree for hot dry areas.

  • Nicole Mar 9, 2022 @ 15:00

    I would actually like to use it in my flower beds to strangle out invasive bermuda grass. Will it kill my perennial flowers? Will it out compete the bermuda grass?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 10, 2022 @ 9:07

      It outcompetes a lot of grasses here, but you definitely don’t want it IN a flower bed.

  • Micah Hendry Dec 13, 2021 @ 8:03

    Not native. I’m afraid it would rapidly become invasive..

  • Don Jones Feb 5, 2021 @ 6:53

    I’m looking to plant pgrass on a hill. Would I plant it at the bottom and it’ll grow uphill or top of the hill and it’ll travel down?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 11, 2021 @ 8:11

      It spreads by underground runners — I don’t think it will matter!

  • Kelly Jan 4, 2021 @ 12:41

    Hi i have too much of this on my property, I don’t care that in in certain areas but I want to remove it from my garden beds how can I kill this is there a herbicide I can use that’s not going to kill other plants and flowers? It’s quiet difficult to pull out.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 11, 2021 @ 8:29

      I’ve had good luck deep mulching in areas where I don’t want it (flower beds and such). When it does appear, it’s pretty easy to pull out, since the mulched soil is soft.

  • Moku Apr 26, 2020 @ 13:29

    Thank you for the article. It really helped us in making a decision on what we want to use for ground cover. Only problem is we can’t find anyone locally, big Island, that carries seeds. If you don’t me along, where did you get yours?


    • Kris Bordessa Apr 28, 2020 @ 7:08

      It was on site when we moved in. It’s easiest to grow from starts, and anyone who has it could get those for you. Where are you located?

  • Leisa Oct 8, 2019 @ 4:21

    I would love to us this plant in my fenced in backyard. What are ways to control/stop spreading past a fence line?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 8, 2019 @ 8:35

      It’s pretty deep rooted, and spreads underground. If you’re concerned about crossing a fence line, I wouldn’t use it.

  • Linda Hayman Sep 14, 2019 @ 4:45

    The article says it is good for erosion control. We would like to plant peanut grass in our drainage swale that receives alot of stormwater runoff from the hill where we live. The City stormwater guy claims that it won’t stabilize the sandy soil sufficiently to keep the soil in place during a heavy (Central Florida) rain. Do you have any input to that issue?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 20, 2019 @ 12:51

      Nothing from a professional standpoint, but it’s pretty deep rooted. I would *think it would work…

  • Javi Aug 4, 2019 @ 15:25

    Hi. Thanks for this info. I found it super useful since i got to live in place where is all around. I wonder if i can eat it as greens and clorofile source, similar to alfalfa or clovers?

  • Connie Mar 1, 2019 @ 11:05

    Peanut Grass do you have a lot of Bees in your yard? Wee have a little dog?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 3, 2019 @ 12:27

      Not as many as I would like!

  • Elizabeth Bergin Jan 4, 2019 @ 12:22

    If you are using it as a lawn alternative – how often do you have to mow it. I live in St. Petersburg Fl

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 4, 2019 @ 18:15

      If it’s a mowed area, it tends to stay low. I’d say every 2-3 weeks? (I’ll have to pay closer attention!)

  • Casey Mar 16, 2018 @ 15:05

    Hello! We are in the full-on-sunniness of Cuba and I’m sold! This sounds like an excellent alternative to the sparse, patchy spider gradd we have growing (no, turning brown) in our lawn. How would you sow it on soil that’s already degraded? Would you recommend to sow it on the surface, or loosely pull up the top inch or so? This is dirt that’s so dead there aren’t even worms in it. I’ve had to truck in the soil for my garden and have been heavily supplementing with kitchen compost.

    Thank you for an informative post.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 24, 2018 @ 13:14

      This ‘grass’ is generally planted from rooted cuttings, so you’d need to spade open the soil and insert a cutting.

  • Cindy N. Feb 15, 2017 @ 8:30

    I’m wondering, because I did not read, if it will grow in shade/semi shady areas?

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 15, 2017 @ 10:00

      I have it growing in semi-shade and it does well. I haven’t tried it in deep shade.

  • Michelle W. Aug 18, 2016 @ 11:29

    Looks beautiful but I keep seeing Hawaii on your page and I am wondering how draught tollerent this really is. I live in the panhandle of Oklahoma and we have several day of 110 sometimes higher, and we have about 3-6 inches of rain a year during our times of draught.

  • Teri Oct 27, 2015 @ 20:42

    We love our perennial peanut too. And it is the goats’ favorite thing to eat. I would take it out of your garden though, because once it gets established it is never leaving. Its roots go down 5-6 ft. (That is why it is so drought tolerant.). It will be really hard to plant vegetables if it gets too big for its britches, and that can happen really fast! It is great in orchards, however. The only weed that seems to get the better of it once established is that pesky honohono grass.
    It is super easy to start. Just take long cuttings, throw them on the ground, cover areas of them with soil and keep watered for a few weeks. It will send down roots every few inches where it is next to the ground. It loves sun, but does fine in the shade too.

  • Jeannie Oct 27, 2015 @ 11:48

    Hi Kris,
    Thanks for another interesting article!! Do you think the perennial peanut grass would work well as a lawn alternative in the Sierra Foothills of California, where there is a bit of snow every winter? Would it need to be replanted every year, or would it spontaneously resprout from the rhizomes?
    Love your site!!

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 4, 2015 @ 11:12

      Hui! Aloha Jeannie! Hard to say – Teri pointed out that it has deep roots, so maybe a shallow snow layer wouldn’t impact those?

    • Robyn Barnes Feb 27, 2017 @ 15:49

      How interesting… I just stumbled on this page today while researching perennial peanut grass to see if it would work in the exact same part of northern California! Jeannie, I wonder if you have tried it and if it does well…? I am just south of Oroville about 20 miles or so…. 🙂
      Thanks, Robyn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *