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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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Tuesday - April 27, 2010

From: Columbia, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Ground cover for shady area in Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What ground cover grows well on a shady slope with close to surface tree roots?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you would like something that is evergreen.  Here are five evergreen plants that make very nice ground covers:

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Packera aurea (golden ragwort)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)

Here are two other plants that aren't evergreen that also make excellent ground covers:

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny-spurge) is semi-evergreen

Tiarella cordifolia (heartleaf foamflower)

You can search in our Maryland Recommended Species list for other possibilities.

You micht also be interested in a Maryland Native Plant Society publication Native Plants for Central Maryland Landscapes—Piedmont and Inner Coastal Plains.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Gaultheria procumbens

Mitchella repens

Packera aurea

Polystichum acrostichoides

Dryopteris marginalis

Pachysandra procumbens

Tiarella cordifolia

 

 

 

 

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