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 - 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

Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
May 25, 2010 - What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a Shaded Slope in Aliquippa PA
May 07, 2014 - What plants. shrubs or trees can I plant to retard soil erosion on a steep shaded hillside in PA
view the full question and answer

Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006 - Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Native ornamental grass for part shade in Austin
December 22, 2010 - Hi. I am looking for a fast-growing hardy ornamental grass that will grow in partial shade in south Austin that is not considered invasive. Unfortunately I purchased a few of the Pennisetum setaceum r...
view the full question and answer

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