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

Saturday - July 05, 2014

From: White Lake, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Filler for between flagstones in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a natural shoreline project underway (replacing a seawall) with all native Michigan plants replacing the lawn as well. A flagstone walkway is going in and I wanted "moss" type filler in between the stones. The native plant contractor is suggesting plants that are all at least 2" tall and spread, so one would be walking on them, not at all the look I am going for. Here are a few of his suggestions: Carex pensylvanica for a sedge/grass or Blue-eyed grass (iris-relative), and/ or a forb like Yarrow, Strawberry, Harebell, Horsemint, Physotegia and MadDog Skullcap (Scutellaria), also. QUESTION: Is there not a native plant that is small and compact that can be used for the flagstone? I am about to throw in the hat and say no plant material between the stones on the flagstone walkway.

ANSWER:

Below are plants that are native to Michigan that are all grow less than 8 inches high and should do well between flagstones:

Sedum ternatum (Woodland stonecrop) sounds the most like what you are looking for.   It grows in part shade in moist soil and grows 4 to 8 inches high.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Here are a few other suggestions:

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry) will grow well if the area is shaded and damp.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox) would work in sun and part shade.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Potentilla simplex (Common cinquefoil) grows in part shade and shade.   Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry) grows in part shade to full sun and does well in dry conditions.  Here is more informtion from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Gaultheria hispidula (Creeping snowberry) is a delicate, creeping evergreen shrub that grows to 6 inches.  Here is more information from Minnesota Wildflowers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woodland stonecrop
Sedum ternatum

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Common cinquefoil
Potentilla simplex

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

Creeping snowberry
Gaultheria hispidula

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for steep slope under large oak in East Texas
May 17, 2009 - I live in Longview and have a slope on the west side of my house that is eroding. There is a large 18-20 y-o oak tree that shades half the slope. The slope itself is too steep to safely/easily mow. ...
view the full question and answer

Poolside Groundcover Suggestions for Florida
July 18, 2013 - I live in Milton, FL near Pensacola. We just had a pool installed and now want to put groundcover around the perimeter. It will be an area about 70 feet long and 10 feet deep. It will be full sun. We ...
view the full question and answer

Native groundcover for central California
September 02, 2009 - In Modesto, CA. Hot summers, cold winters. Need a low ground cover for area next to driveway approx. 5ft X 14ft. that stays green all year round. I did have grass there but neigbors lawn is loaded wit...
view the full question and answer

Native Groundcover for High Activity Location in Austin, TX
October 01, 2010 - Howdy! We live in South Austin and have a smallish backyard that we're perennially working on. We have two young, very active dogs that spend a lot of time RUNNING and we never can keep ground cover ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine grass from Dallas TX
April 10, 2014 - Dear Mr. Pants, we are replacing dying St. Augustine grass in a small, sunny back yard with ground cover. What are your recommendations for a drought-tolerant evergreen ground cover? We will till a...
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