En Español

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
3 ratings

Thursday - April 14, 2005

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Bare feet-friendly native groundcovers for New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We own land at elevation 1600', near Sherburn, NY. We want to walk barefoot around the tipi area, but don't want to plant grass (mowing grass). What native ground cover would be kind to bare feet and not grow too high?

ANSWER:

For a grass-like groundcover you might consider Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica). it grows 6-12 inches high, spreads readily, and should be available commercially. Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a photo of the Pennsylvania sedge growing in a an oak woodland. "Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape" by John Greenlee has very useful information about using sedges as groundcover for a lawn.

You could also consider ground cover vines such as coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) or Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinque), both of which are available commerically. Still another possibility is Partridge-berry (Mitchella repens) which is often used as a ground cover.

You can find a PDF file to download of Recommended Native Plant Species List for the Northeast on our Regional Fastpacks page with other possible ground cover plants listed. And, to find a list of nurseries and seed companies in New York or the northeast that specialize in native plants, visit our National Suppliers Directory.
 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
October 11, 2012 - I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).
view the full question and answer

Wisconsin Ground Cover for Acid Soil
July 09, 2012 - What type of native wisconsin ground cover plants do best on acidic bare areas under pine trees such as blue spruce?...and where is best source for these plants or seeds? Thanks so much for your help
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Destruction of Straggler Daisy in Austin
December 18, 2011 - I hate Straggler Daisy. Not to be offensive, but it appears from other posts on this site that you, Mr. Smarty Plants, and many others would like to treat it as a protected species. It is taking over ...
view the full question and answer

Ground Cover for Austin
March 18, 2011 - What are some ground cover or low growing shrubs that will do well in afternoon sun only in the 78750 zip code?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center