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

Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
March 19, 2007 - I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover beneath a maple
January 24, 2009 - I am looking for something to spread out in the shade of a maple tree. I have tried lily of the valley, ferns, pachysandra, ivy, hosta, euonymus.. nothing spreads out.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for area under blue spruce in Colorado
August 10, 2012 - I have a 40 ft blue spruce limbed up 6 ft in my yard on the west in Greeley, CO (50 mi N Denver, zone 4 or 5). It gets some sun underneath in the later afternoon and evening. Can you suggest 4 to 5 ...
view the full question and answer

Source of dollarweed for shady lawn in Hillsboro TX
December 19, 2011 - I live in Hillsboro,Tx - Where can I get Dollar Weed for my shady lawn?
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