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
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
3 ratings

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

From: Wicksburg/Newton, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Low native groundcover for Wicksburg/Newton AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am laying a rather wide-set flagstone pathway in our back weeds (planning some native grass and wildflowers in the fall on either side of the path). I am looking for some very low native groundcover or native grass to plant between the stones that won't need to be mowed and can handle foot traffic. I have to plant something quick or the weeds will take over ASAP!

ANSWER:

Since you did not specify if the path would be in sun or shade, or both, we have listed a number of low-growing plants  that are native to the Dale County area in the southeastern corner of Alabama. You can follow the plant links to the webpage on each individual plant to determine expected height, bloom time and color and light requirements. We consider "sun" to be 6 hours or more of sun daily, "part shade" 2 to 6 hours of sun, and "shade" 2 hours or less. A caution about weeds; no plant, native or not, is going to suppress unwanted plants, "weeds," from coming up. Know what your plant looks like, and be ruthless in pulling out everything else.

Ground cover plants for southeastern Alabama:

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Geranium carolinianum (Carolina geranium)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Viola affinis (sand violet)

Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)

Viola pedata (birdfoot violet)

Viola septemloba (southern coastal violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Viola walteri (prostrate blue violet)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Phlox latifolia (wideflower phlox)

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox)


Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra carolinensis

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Geranium carolinianum

Calyptocarpus vialis

Mitchella repens

Viola affinis

Viola cucullata

Viola pedata

Viola septemloba

Viola sororia

Viola walteri

Phlox divaricata

Phlox latifolia

Phlox stolonifera

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

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

Ground cover for under a maple tree in DE
December 22, 2010 - In my front yard in Newark, Delaware, I have a HUGE maple tree that shades the whole yard and most of its roots are visible and make the yard very "bumpy." Consequently, grass does not grow well the...
view the full question and answer

Alternative for HABITURF® in Contra Costa County, CA
September 17, 2014 - We live in Kensington, just north of Berkeley, in the San Francisco area. We intend to get rid of our water consuming lawn and we are wondering what kind of alternative you would suggest. You don't s...
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

Identification of plant, possibly Justicia pilosella, for groundcover
October 10, 2007 - I'm newly relocated to Texas and find I have a yard with three major types of green growing. Close to the house (and mostly shaded) is St. Augustine. Furthest out front, (unshaded) is the Bermudagra...
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