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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.

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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 - May 25, 2009

From: Union, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for wet area in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Missouri and our neighborhood is built over a natural spring. Half of my yard remains wet/moist for weeks to months and we can't mow it. I'm looking for a ground cover and plants that will be able to survive, take over the grass that is there, and be attractive. The area is mostly shaded with some areas without trees. I'd something low maintenance. Thanks!

ANSWER:

This sounds like a great place for ferns.  Here are some possibilities:

FERNS

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis (royal fern)

Woodwardia areolata (netted chainfern)

You can add some other plants to the fern mix in the form of:

PERENNIAL HERBACEOUS PLANTS

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Caltha palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Vernonia fasciculata (prairie ironweed)


Athyrium filix-femina

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis

Woodwardia areolata

Asclepias incarnata

Caltha palustris

Impatiens capensis

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda didyma

Vernonia fasciculata

 

 

 

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