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
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

Shade tolerant groundcover plants for Tarrant County, Texas
November 01, 2011 - I live in far NE Tarrant County (Ft Worth), TX and need a groundcover that can tolerate complete shade and poor, rocky, clay soil. I need mostly for erosion control, and needs to be relatively low
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a sunny location
April 20, 2011 - Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant ground cover for Massachusetts
July 11, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants I am looking for drought resistant,low maintenance ground cover for a LEED certified project in Florence MA. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for area under oaks in Lake Conroe, Texas
October 17, 2010 - I live just off Lake Conroe, and my backyard is more dirt than grass. It is under a number of oak trees, and the dirt is more of a silt than a sand. I need suggestions for a quick growing ground cover...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
October 31, 2011 - The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. ...
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