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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

From: Cheboygan, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Vines
Title: Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants will grow under the pines. I would like some ground cover and vines to climb a wattle fence. Thank you


There are lots of choices for groundcovers for Michigan that should do well in your daughter's memorial garden. Some of them will grow in partial shade, a few will grow in full shade, and others will grow in sun, partial shade and shade.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wildginger)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry dogwood)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Viola pedata (birdfoot violet)

Here are vines that are native to Michigan

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (western blue virginsbower)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

You can also find an entire list of native species recommended for Michigan or you can make your own list by doing a "Combination Search" on the Native Plant Database.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Asarum canadense

Carex pensylvanica

Cornus canadensis

Fragaria virginiana

Geranium maculatum

Mitchella repens

Phlox pilosa

Polystichum acrostichoides

Viola sororia

Viola pedata

Celastrus scandens

Campsis radicans

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Clematis virginiana

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Wisteria frutescens



More Groundcovers Questions

Native plants for groundcover under Magnolia in Austin
April 09, 2009 - What plants native to the Austin, Tx area will do well underneath a large magnolia tree (instead of the English ivy that is there)?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for wet area in Missouri
May 25, 2009 - Hello, I live in Missouri and our neighborhood is built over a natural spring. Half of my yard remains wet/moist for weeks to months and we can't mow it. I'm looking for a ground cover and plants...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for drainage ditch in Bastrop
October 02, 2008 - A friend in Bastrop has a drainage ditch in front where she'd like to use a groundcover. Normally it's very dry, but when it rains, can have 1-2" of water. Gets mostly sun. I was wondering about ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen ground covers and low plants for Dallas area
May 25, 2010 - Would like a list of low growing (24" or less) evergreen plants including ground covers, scrubs, etc-flowering and non-flowering that are hardy and require low maintenance in the Dallas area. So ofte...
view the full question and answer

Phytoremediation using Paspalum vaginatum
February 06, 2015 - Do you know of any on-going research using Paspalum vaginatum as the prime plant (monoculture) for use in phytoremediation. Utilizing this plant in Vegetated Swales, Spreader Swales, Grassy Swales,...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center