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

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Friday - May 11, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Oxalis drummondii as ground cover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Austin, Texas. A sunny, dry swath of grass (originally St. Augustine) has been invaded by pink wood-sorrel (a large-leafed, mounding kind). I love the wood-sorrel, and would like to use it as ground-cover between stepping stones (and eventually eliminate the grass). Can the wood-sorrel tolerate some foot traffic? And how can I encourage its growth?

ANSWER:

Oxalis drummondii (Drummond's woodsorrel) is a pretty hardy plant and should stand some traffic, but probably not a great deal of it. However, growing between the stepping stones probably will work just fine. You should realize that the plants may go dormant in the heat of the summer, especially in full sun since they do like partial shade. This perennial blooms September to November and it will readily self-sow when the seeds are ripe. It is also possible to propagate them by dividing the bulbs and by moving established plants.

 

 

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