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?


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
3 ratings

Monday - February 04, 2008

From: Ocala, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Native ground cover to replace grass in Florida.
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Where can I find a list of ground covers to replace my grass. I live in the south of Ocala Florida.


The Native Plant Society of Florida has lists of native plants to use for landscaping in Florida. You can search by county and I believe you are in Marion County.

Here are a few recommendations from their list for groundcovers that do well in Marion County, Florida:

Dyschoriste oblongifolia (oblongleaf snakeherb)

Licania michauxii (gopher apple)

Mimosa strigillosa (powderpuff)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle frogfruit)

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrowleaf blue-eyed grass)

Zamia pumila (coontie)

You can also see a list of Florida Recommended native plants on our web site. Here are several recommendations from this list that would serve well as groundcovers:

Ceratiola ericoides (sand heath)

Chamaecrista nictitans ssp. nictitans (sensitive partridge pea)

Gaylussacia dumosa (dwarf huckleberry)

Also, you might consider one of the sedges, such as:

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Dyschoriste oblongifolia

Mimosa strigillosa

Mitchella repens

Phyla nodiflora

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Ceratiola ericoides

Chamaecrista nictitans ssp. nictitans

Gaylussacia dumosa

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis



More Groundcovers Questions

Virginia wild strawberry plants for New Hampshire or Massachusetts
February 25, 2009 - Where can I find Virginia wild strawberry plants or seeds for my garden and will they grow up north in New Hampshire or Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
October 11, 2012 - I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).
view the full question and answer

What to plant between patio flagstones in Austin, TX?
May 16, 2011 - I would like to plant something between my flagstones on the patio. Something that doesn't require a lot of water, low growing, and can stand a little to moderate traffic. It is in a shade to partly...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
June 11, 2010 - Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
view the full question and answer

Low ground cover for steep bank in Ohio
September 02, 2008 - We have a 3/4 acre pond that has several places along the bank too steep to mow. We would like to plant some type of ground cover in those areas that would keep the weeds out. The planting would need ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center