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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.

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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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Saturday - July 11, 2009

From: Mechanicsburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Non-vascular moss between flagstones in Mechanicsburg PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We would like to plant moss between our flagstone. However, the moss will have full sun all day. Can you recommend a moss for Central Pennsylvania near Harrisburg?

ANSWER:

There are about 12,000 species of non-vascular plants referred to as "moss;" since we deal only with vascular plants, we can't help you with that. We do know that mosses need a damp, shady environment, which doesn't sound like your description. We Googled on "Moss for paths" and found this gardenhive.com website "How do you maintain a moss path?" One suggestion we might make is a good quality shredded hardwood mulch, if you feel the need for something sunworthy between your flagstones. We searched our Native Plant Database for low growing plants native to Pennsylvania that could tolerate full sun, and found 5 that might work for you.

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort) - 8" tall, blooms white April to October, sun, part shade or shade, moist soil

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit) - about 6" tall, semi-evergreen, blooms white May to October, sun or part shade

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox) - to 1 ft. tall, blooms white, blue, purple April and May, sun, part shade or shade

Viola sororia (common blue violet) - 6 to 10" tall, reseeding annual, blooms white, pink, blue, purple March to May, sun or part shade

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot) - about 4" tall, sun or part shade


Hydrocotyle umbellata

Phyla nodiflora

Phlox stolonifera

Viola sororia

Dichondra carolinensis

 

 

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