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 21, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover for shade in San Antonio
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a large red oak tree in the front yard. It is keeping any sun except filtered underneath. Faces n/w and in san antonio. I need a ground cover that is drought tolerant and likes the shade and heat.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that this sounds like a job for sedges.  Here are a few suggested ones:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Some broadleaf possibilities are:

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Geum Canadense (White Avens)

Salvia lyrata, (Lyre-leaf sage)

Salvia coccinea, (Scarlet sage)

Salvia roemeriana, (Cedar sage)

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

White avens
Geum canadense

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Native alterrnatives for Bermuda grass in shade
July 30, 2007 - I have Bermuda Tif 419 on my lawn. As expected, there are small areas in the shade that the Bermuda is not doing well in. What would happen if I spread Zoysia seed in those shady areas? Would it gro...
view the full question and answer

Native Perennials for Dry Shade in NM
July 06, 2016 - I live in Edgewood, NM at an elevation of about 7,200 ft. It is very dry here and it can get below zero (rarely) in the winter. I have some areas under cedar trees where I have had difficulty gettin...
view the full question and answer

Vine for shady planter from Cedar Park TX
April 19, 2014 - We bought a home in Central Texas and inherited several raised-bed planters. One of the planters is set up to grow a vine, but it's in a part of the yard that is mostly in the shade of a tree. Is t...
view the full question and answer

Prairie wattle for woodland area in Austin
November 29, 2009 - Can prairie wattle be grown in a woodland area? It would get part shade, with full sun for at least half a day. The soil is a bit rocky; location is Austin.
view the full question and answer

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