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

Sunday - May 18, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shade ground cover in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I would like to find plants, spreading ground or flowers, to go under my red tips. These plants would be in a lot shade and not a great deal of water.


By "red tips", we assume you are referring to Photinia x fraseri, Red-tip Photinia, a non-native shrub originating in China and the Himalayas. Anything that we recommend to you will be a native not only of North America but of your region; i.e., Central Texas. You can look at the complete list of Recommended Species for Central Texas by clicking on Recommended Species in the drop-down menu under "Explore Plants." Click on Central Texas on the US map, then "Narrow Your Search", designating Texas, herb (herbaceous plant) for habit, perennial for duration, 2 to 6 hours of shade a day, and dry soil. Here are the eight plants that we selected that should fit your criteria. Go to Suppliers in that same drop-down menu, type in your town and state in the Location box, and you will get a list of native plant suppliers in your area.

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot)

Capsicum annuum (cayenne pepper)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Glandularia canadensis (rose mock vervain)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Callirhoe involucrata

Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra argentea

Capsicum annuum

Calyptocarpus vialis

Glandularia canadensis

Mitchella repens

Phlox divaricata




More Shade Tolerant Questions

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

Plant for deep shade in Pennsylvania
April 09, 2013 - Hi! I am landscaping our house and trying to use only plants that provide seasonal benefit to bees, butterflies, birds etc. not the deer though. My question is that I have a fairly steep slope of abou...
view the full question and answer

Silverleaf Nightshade, Happy in El Paso Texas
June 14, 2011 - Trying to identify a small wildflower all over in our El Paso neighborhood. Lavender bloom, five pointed petals, Star pattern inside, five bright yellow pistols. Beautiful. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for cemetery in Wilmington DE
September 13, 2009 - We are looking for a shade tree for a cemetery in Delaware. The tree will be planted only a few feet from some existing gravesites. What trees would you recommend that will not interfere with the ...
view the full question and answer

Stream Bank Erosion Control for Bryan/College Station
August 16, 2012 - I live in the Bryan/College Station area and need a ground cover to abate erosion on the bank of an intermittent stream. The bank is shaded. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

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