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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native ground cover for part shade in Dowagiac MI
June 24, 2009 - Maybe I'm just too picky. I'm trying to make an area that is some what triangular shaped between my house and garage with a tall lattice/privacy fence on one side and walks in the back yard area on...
view the full question and answer

Plant called cow shade or cow weed that is poisonous
July 25, 2008 - There is a plant called cow shade or cow weed, not exactly sure. It kills whitetail deer. I would like to know the name of the plant and the specifics. If you could help me it would be greatly appreci...
view the full question and answer

Mulching in deep shade in Round Rock TX
June 22, 2010 - Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs, groundcovers, and grasses for shade in North Central Texas
March 19, 2010 - Updated (2009-10) information about shrubs / ground cover /grasses recommended for North Central Texas - Complete back yard re-landscaping under a lot of trees, shady areas, regular bermuda, St Augus...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for cemetery in Wilmington DE
September 13, 2009 - We are looking for a shade tree for a cemetery in Delaware. The tree will be planted only a few feet from some existing gravesites. What trees would you recommend that will not interfere with the ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center