En EspaŅol

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

Looking for a native turf grass for the Houston area
July 25, 2013 - Looking for a native turf grass for the Houston area. In some of your 2012 responses, you stated that "The good news is that research into turf-type grasses native to the coastal region is in the pla...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for heavy dog traffic in Huntsville TX
July 23, 2010 - We have recently moved to Huntsville, TX where our backyard is very shady and has only a small patch of St. Augustine grass and the rest is a dry, sand-like soil. We also have 2 Great Danes and 2 Pugs...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance plants for crack in concrete
July 01, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to grow some very low maintenance weeds, mosses and flowers out of a crack in a slab of concrete. Can you recommend any species that would do well in this sort...
view the full question and answer

Possible ground covers under pine trees in Illinois
April 18, 2006 - Have pine trees in front of house. No luck with the lawn around them....was told it's because of ground acidity. Any tips on how to get a lawn to grow there? If not, can you suggest some ground cover...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for clay soil in Southern California
August 08, 2012 - I live in Southern California and have hard packed clay soil in my yard. Could you recommend ground cover that would be green, low to the ground, require little water and survive in clay? I can't a...
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