En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 27, 2014

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Groundcovers for North Central Texas
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have a very large area that is in Palo Pinto County, Texas. We tried to plant grass but it never established. I'm looking for a ground cover that does well in shade (lots of oak tees) and is semi drought resistant. The soil is not the greatest, the red dirt which is common in Texas. I'm also looking for something with low pile for snake purposes. Any suggestions? I saw some of your recommendations but I'm not sure they can handle the heat and are low to the ground

ANSWER:

   Looks like you’re ahead of me!   This Mr Smarty Plants, as a matter of practice, check out the questions/answers that came before; and most of the time there is plenty of advice there already.  Is it these that you saw?

Plants for under non-native fruitless mullberry trees from Ft. Worth
[The recommended are all pretty much flowers and a bit tall]

Shade tolerant groundcover plants for Tarrant County, Texas 

Non-toxic Groundcover for North-Central Texas 

Shrubs, groundcovers, and grasses for shade in North Central Texas 

Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas

 

Keeping it real low to dissuade the snakes, consider these groundcovers and low flowers:

Pure groundcovers:  Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy), Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit), Allium canadense (Meadow garlic), Carex planostachys (Cedar sedge), Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)

Flowers:  Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena), Viola missouriensis (Missouri violet), Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba (Poppy mallow), Rivina humilis (Pigeonberry)

As natives, these should all be able to handle the heat by itself.  The combination of heat and drought is pretty rough on everything, so its a bit of a toss-up whether they survive. Our frogfruit dies back in the winter and heat/drought of summer  but happily comes right back again.

 

From the Image Gallery


Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Meadow garlic
Allium canadense

Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Missouri violet
Viola missouriensis

Poppy mallow
Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

Pigeonberry
Rivina humilis

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Leggy purple coneflower
August 20, 2007 - Last year I planted purple coneflowers and this year when they bloomed they were extremely tall & leggy. I'd like next year to get them to be shorter and fuller. How do I do that & is it something ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for southwest Louisiana courtyard
December 29, 2009 - Hi, I live in southwest Louisiana,very close to Texas. I would like to remove the grass in my townhome backyard (east sun exposure) and create a courtyard by adding pavers. However I am planning on...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under live oak in Houston
July 09, 2011 - Hi, We have a live oak in our back garden in Houston and would like to plant a combination of some native shrubs and flowers near it (preferably perennial). The garden bed is about 4 metres from the...
view the full question and answer

Yellow-flowered Ipomopsis rubra - Standing Cypress
May 30, 2008 - We have several acres of we call native plant areas, maybe unmaintained areas or natural is a better description of these areas. As we were developing these areas we sown in several different wildflo...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Kentucky
June 12, 2010 - We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside pl...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center