Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 23, 2007

From: Mansfield, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Phyla nodiflora as a ground cover
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I'm considering using frogfruit in my lawn and between stepping stones. However, I'm concerned about it being invasive. The tree is in the front lawn and don't want it to take over the Bermuda lawn,and the stones are between flower beds. Is it easy to control or will I be battling it like Bermuda?

ANSWER:

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) can be used as an excellent ground cover and is evergreen in warm years and would be a good choice between your stepping stones. It is also evergreen in areas protected from frost. Frogfruit generally is a good nectar plant for butterflies and is the larval food plant for Phaon Crescentspot, Buckeye, and White Peacock butterflies. It is an attractive plant rambling over boulders or the edges of hanging baskets.

 

That said, frogfruit spreads vigorously and you will have to do some maintenance to keep it out of the Bermuda grass. Did I mention Bermuda grass is considered to be an exotic pest in Arkansas, California and Utah. See USDA Plants.


Phyla nodiflora

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Shade Tolerant Groundcover for Texas
July 13, 2016 - I live in Atascosa county in Pleasanton Texas, I have an abundance of Live Oak and Ash trees shading my property and need a groundcover for my backyard which is nothing but sand and where I have dogs ...
view the full question and answer

Would Habiturf or buffalograss work in Charlottesville VA
July 18, 2012 - Hello, I am looking for an alternative to traditional turf grasses. I stumbled upon some information on your site about buffalo grass and LBJWC's 'Habiturf' mix and would like to know if this w...
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

Ground covers for play area in Plano, TX
April 14, 2007 - Is there a ground cover that would work under and around a swing in our front yard in Plano, Texas. It would get morning sun and dappled shade from a trimmed live oak in the afternoon. It would need t...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.