How to Grow Phuopsis Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Crosswort

There is only one member of the Phuopsis plant (Phuopsis stylosa) genus and this goes by the common name of Crosswort.

It is able to reach 30 cm (1 foot) in height and blooms in the summer.

Crucianella maritima
Crucianella maritima, Crosswort by ant2ant41; creative commons.

Phuopsis is a hardy perennial that grows in mats of narrow leaves.

The flowers are clustered into an attractive ball, and consist of minute pink tubular flowers.

It is an ideal plant to use in rock gardens, looks attractive at the front of borders or let it drape over walls to creative an attractive focal point.

Crucianella stylosa
Crucianella stylosa - Phuopsis stylosa – Crosswort by Stadtkatze.

Phuopsis Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Crosswort.
Life Cycle: Perennial commonly grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 6 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Yellow, violet. Tiny. Umbels.
Foliage: Compound. Narrow. Pinnate.
Sow Outside: Surface. Autumn. Spacing 18 to 20 inches (45 to 50 cm). Germination time: one month. Temperature 50°F (10°C).
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Dry soils. Deadhead before flowers set seeds as Crosswort may spread uncontrollably if left unchecked. Propagate: dividing in the spring; cuttings in the summer.
Family: Rubiaceae.
Miscellaneous: Synonymous with Crucianella.

How to Grow Crosswort and other Phuopsis Plant Genus Members in the Garden

When growing Crosswort (Crucianella / Phuopsis Plants) from seed it is best to sow them outdoors on the surface in the autumn.

It should take about one month to germinate once the temperature cools to 10 to 15°C (50 to 59°F).

If you buy Phuopsis from a garden center, then plant outdoors in either spring or autumn.

In either case, the Crosswort should be planted / sown with a spacing of about 50 cm (20 inches) apart into a dry soil.

Crosswort are able to grow in partly shady or sunny areas.

Caring for Crosswort - Phuopsis

Crosswort is a spreading mat forming plant, you may need to keep an eye on it once growing so that it does not spread to far.

If you require more Phuopsis plants then take cuttings in the summer or divide the plants in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Phuopsis genus contain?

The Phuopsis plant genus is a monotypic genus, thus containing just one species.

Do Phuopsis plants make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Phuopsis stylosa, also known as Crosswort, is often used as a ground cover in gardens due to its mat-forming habit and small, pink flowers.

Which Phuopsis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

As there is only one species, Phuopsis stylosa is the species grown by gardeners.

Are Phuopsis plants fragrant?

Yes, they are known for their strong, sweet fragrance, this is particularly noticeable on warm days.

What is the perfect location to grow Phuopsis?

They grow best in full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil. It prefers moist conditions but can tolerate drought once established.

Is Phuopsis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, this plant is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Phuopsis plants from my garden?

Because of its mat-forming habit, Phuopsis stylosa can be removed by hand pulling or hoeing. Make sure to remove all root fragments to prevent regrowth.


The Phuopsis genus, part of the Rubiaceae family, comprises herbaceous perennials known for their attractive, pink flowers and aromatic foliage. Often referred to as Crosswort, these plants form excellent ground cover.

Phuopsis plants prefer locations with full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Planting is generally done in the spring. With its carpet of pink blooms and fragrant leaves, it adds charm to borders, rockeries, and woodland gardens.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Phuopsis plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Mitchella, Armeria plant, and Ixora plants.