En EspaÑol

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 Critical Area Buffer Zone in Maryland
October 06, 2014 - Help RE: Maryland Critical Area Buffer Zone. Is there a low or no- mow grass native to Maryland that can be used in a Critical Area Buffer Zone. The area is Sunny/Clay. Or can you recommend a grou...
view the full question and answer

Lawn for a Shady & Wet area in Austin, TX
July 22, 2015 - We have a drainage area that has appeared in our back yard since the neighbors’ homes were built. When we get heavy rains (like this year) all their drainage flows into our back yard and forms a river...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Brooklyn, NY
January 25, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a fast growing ground cover for my Brooklyn, NY back yard. The area is nestled between 3 buildings and a fairly large tree, so most of the day its shady, but ...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf lawn in Carson City, NV
October 15, 2013 - I planted habiturf just south of Reno NV May 5. First two months no or little germination because nite temps too cold. Now doing ok except battling purslane and redstem filaree.. SO, I notice bare/spa...
view the full question and answer

Silver ponyfoot becoming invasive in College Station TX
May 08, 2013 - How can I control or get rid of an established Dichondra groundcover? I bought a few plants of D. argentea from your sale a few years ago, and in that time they've done really well in the area I plan...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center