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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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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

 

 

 

 

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