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
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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 07, 2010

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Native turf grass for Denison TX
January 27, 2014 - I have researched many grasses for sandy soil in Denison,Tx that are easy mantainance. Habiturf has been recommended but is mostly Buffalo grass and is not recommended for sandy soil. What other opt...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under Oak Trees in LA.
March 05, 2013 - What type of plants and grass can be planted under and around oak trees
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for part shade in Albany NY
July 02, 2014 - Hello! I'm looking for: a native ground cover, mostly shade with only some morning sun, on a slope, edible is preferred but not necessity, mostly clay type soil for the Albany, NY area. Thanks for yo...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant ground cover for Winter Park, FL
March 09, 2009 - I'm looking to replace my lawn with a drought tolerant ground cover. I do not have a watering system.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for roadside in Elk Rapids MI
July 13, 2010 - Elk Rapids, MI (Lake Michigan, East Grand Traverse Bay) Greetings – We are looking for a native ground cover that will cover an area along a roadside, about 100 feet from the Lake Michigan shorelin...
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