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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 30, 2008

From: St. Johns, NF
Region: Canada
Topic: Groundcovers, Shrubs
Title: Low-growing plant for grave in boggy Newfoundland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for any suggestions on what type of plant I can plant on a grave. It is very boggy (peat)land. I want something that is hardy & not too tall. We have about 8 weeks of summer, July & August. Something that is easy to take care off. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

It seems that an evergreen plant would be a good choice for a grave.  Something in the wintergreen family (Family Pyrolaceae) should work well since they are small with evergreen leaves and charming flowers in the summer.

Orthilia secunda (sidebells wintergreen)

Pyrola americana (American wintergreen)

Pyrola chlorantha (greenflowered wintergreen)

Pyrola grandiflora (largeflowered wintergreen)

Pyrola minor (snowline wintergreen)

The following are evergreen low-growing shrubs and subshrubs growing less than 3 feet tall:

Vaccinium vitis-idaea ssp. minus (mountain cranberry)

Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)

Vaccinium oxycoccos (small cranberry)

Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)

Empetrum nigrum (black crowberry)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry) with photos and more information from borealforest.org

Kalmia polifolia (bog laurel)

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

If you want to put something at the site that isn't evergreen but will produce beautiful blossoms, you might consider using a native iris:

Iris setosa (beachhead iris)

Iris versicolor (harlequin blueflag)

 


Orthilia secunda

Pyrola americana

Pyrola chlorantha

Pyrola grandiflora

Pyrola minor

Vaccinium macrocarpon

Vaccinium oxycoccos

Andromeda polifolia

Empetrum nigrum

Kalmia polifolia

Ledum groenlandicum

 


Iris setosa

Iris versicolor
 

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