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

Monday - June 09, 2008

From: Nacogdoches, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Native groundcover for sun in East Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am hoping you can advise me on a native, flowering, fast growing groundcover that would thrive in full sun, with some shady areas under a couple camellia trees. I live in Nacogdoches and have sandy soil. I was hoping to try Crossvine, but I've not heard much about it as a groundcover. If Crossvine could work, how aggressively would I need to prune to keep it from growing up the camelias and instead having it spread along the ground? Thank you!

ANSWER:

How aggressively would you have to prune Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) to keep it out of your camellias? Do you own a chain saw? And do you have a day job? Crossvine is a lovely plant, and attracts hummingbirds, but it would be up that camellia in a flash. Likewise, its cousin, Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), which does run along the ground where there's nothing to climb, tripping passersby and sometimes referred to as "hellvine," if that gives you a clue. You might have a little better luck with Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) - it also runs along the ground. It will climb, but if you're nimble, you might be able to keep it out of the camellia. Some of the other plants, which we will list below, are a little taller than the usual groundcover, and the last two are considered by some to be weeds. And you know what a weed is, a plant in the wrong place. After you've read the website on each plant, if you find some plants you're interested in, go to the Suppliers section of our website, type the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant suppliers of both seeds and plants, as well as landscape professionals, in your general area.

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Hydrocotyle bonariensis (largeleaf pennywort)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)


Bignonia capreolata

Campsis radicans

Oenothera speciosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Passiflora incarnata

Salvia coccinea

Hydrocotyle bonariensis

Calyptocarpus vialis

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Removing St. Augustine for natives in Grapevine TX
September 29, 2012 - We have St Augustine in our yard and we hate it. It guzzles water, we have to cut it often, and it's thick and hard to work with. Anyway, we want to replace it with a combination of some kind of g...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for East Texas
October 05, 2010 - Thank you for your response to (Hamelia), it was very helpful. I recently moved to East Texas and I live in a rural area at altitude 754ft with a sloping landscape with good drainage. My property is...
view the full question and answer

Native, full-sun, 4-in. evergreen grasses for Leander TX
November 07, 2011 - Help! I need a native Texas evergreen sedge/grass/ground cover for full-sun/hot/dry area between sidewalk and street. The plants will need to be kept about 4" high, if growth is higher it must be mow...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for groundcover under Magnolia in Austin
April 09, 2009 - What plants native to the Austin, Tx area will do well underneath a large magnolia tree (instead of the English ivy that is there)?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for steep slope in Washington DC
May 07, 2010 - We have a steep slope in our garden in Washington DC which has sun from noon to sun set. Could you please recommend some low maintenance plants which would be a good ground cover and limit erosion?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center