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Sunday - November 07, 2010

From: New York, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for East Texas
Answered by: Jan Kvale


I live in the country of east Texas and wish to grow native ground covers around my house and property. I have no way to control this growth, as I have no fences or borders. I have sandy soil and the land is rocky and slopes away from the house. In some areas, it is a deep slope. I would like ground cover that blooms (something) year round and attracts birds and butterflies.


Mr. Smarty Plants can make some suggestions but perhaps the best thing is to point you in the right direction to search this for yourself. A similar question was answered recently. If your site is shady or has trees, check out what Mr. Smarty Plants had to say for a Tyler, TX site. This reply also will give you instructions on doing your own search on this web site. In fact, other answers for ground cover can be found by typing "ground cover" in the Search space in the upper right corner of the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower web site.

The following suggestions include herbaceous flowering plants, flowering vines appropriate for ground cover, and showy grasses ideal for holding soil on slopes. Since the previous answer referred to above is for a shady area, all these suggestions are for a sunny or part-shade site. Take note of the blooming cycles; few plants offer year-round blooms. Most attract birds and butterflies of various kinds. You can click on the names provided and read the detail for each suggestion. Most have some deer resistance and none are overly aggressive.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit), a verbena, is an excellent evergreen ground cover with white blossoms from May to October.

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba (Poppy mallow) begins blooming in February and continues into June with lovely white blossoms.

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup) forms a thick mat and produces showy purple, pink, or white blossoms that close in the evening. Blooms are from March through June .

Acalypha radians (Cardinal's feather) produces a red blossom from April to November.

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy) is not classed as a ground cover, but it does bloom year round from January to December and provides cheerful yellow blooms. Combine it with grasses or ground cover of your choice.

Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower) is a vine with showy pink, purple, or blue blooms from April to September.

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) blooms from March to June with coral, red, and yellow blossoms dear to hummingbirds as well as bees and butterflies. Other birds enjoy the fruits later.

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly), a grass, produces a feathery pink spray providing visual contrast.

Allium canadense (Meadow garlic) is a grass that produces a white blossom from May to July. It has a definite garlic odor when handled.

Phyla nodiflora

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

Callirhoe involucrata

Lonicera sempervirens

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Allium canadense

Acalypha radians

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa



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