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

Saturday - March 21, 2009

From: Harvard , MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for Massachusetts
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We are trying to kill poison ivy in shaded areas bordering our driveway and want to plant something quickly to replace it. There are many tall trees in this area, mainly pine and oak, and the soil is not very good. What do you recommend? (Saw an answer for CA but the plants did not seem Northeast suitable!) We would like an attractive ground cover, flowering if possible. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here are some Massachusetts natives that make nice ground covers:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wildginger)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry dogwood)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal)

Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Viola pedata (birdfoot violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Check the "Growing Conditions" for each one to determine which would do the best in your site.


Antennaria plantaginifolia

Asarum canadense

Cornus canadensis

Gaultheria procumbens

Geum canadense

Hydrastis canadensis

Lycopodium digitatum

Mitchella repens

Polystichum acrostichoides

Viola pedata

Viola sororia

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Looking for cover
June 18, 2007 - I live iin Schaumburg, IL and have a difficult spot (extreme sun and heat in summer (South Side of house). I'm looking for a very short ground cover - < or + to 6 inchees. Does Arabis hirsuta fit t...
view the full question and answer

Flowering groundcover for Indiana
May 25, 2009 - I live in southern Indiana and am looking for a nice flowering groundcover that will overcome the grass. It is on a hill that is very hard to mow.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
May 02, 2012 - LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
view the full question and answer

Identification of groundcover plant in north Georgia mountains
September 16, 2011 - Was trail riding in N GA mountains - saw pretty ground cover plant ? vine - small green leaves with whitish borders almost look like clover leaves and has small bright red red berries - this was Aug 2...
view the full question and answer

Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
April 25, 2014 - I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center