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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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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

 

 

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