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?

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
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

Friday - April 04, 2008

From: Media/Swarthmore, PA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for partial shade in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Much of my growing area in Northern exposure, shade-partial shade once trees get leaves. I'm looking for native plants to use for screens and for ground-covers, grasses and edible plants.

ANSWER:

To begin with the last item you asked for, any plant is edible, especially if you're a deer. However, we suspect you mean vegetables, fruits and herbs, edible by humans. Most of those are either non-native to North America or have been so extensively hybridized as to bear little resemblance to their original form. So, they would be out of our field of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Beyond that, we will go to our "Recommended Species" section for Pennsylvania, and specify for shrubs, grasses and grasslike plants and look for low-growing flowering plants for groundcovers. We'll list our selections and then you can use the same procedure to find other native plants that might suit you better. We will also specify for 2-6 hours of sun daily.

GROUNDCOVERS

Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina springbeauty)

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox)

Phlox subulata (moss phlox)

SHRUBS

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea)

GRASS, GRASS-LIKE

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)


Claytonia caroliniana

Phlox stolonifera

Phlox subulata

Ceanothus americanus

Kalmia latifolia

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shady area with sandy soil
September 23, 2008 - We have very sandy soil, is there any type of grass that will grow well. Also, very shady.
view the full question and answer

Carex as a shady turf alternative in Austin
November 10, 2009 - I just read your answer to Barbara Medford's question about what multi-species native grasses would work to create a shady lawn. While you had some wonderful suggestions you mention a homeowner's as...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade east windows from sun in Abilene, TX
October 25, 2008 - We need a tree(s) to plant in front of four east windows (20 feet space) to shade our breakfast room from the early morning sun. We have shades but need a bit more protection. I do not wish to shade...
view the full question and answer

Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
February 07, 2012 - Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center