Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Sunday - February 27, 2011

From: Venice, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for Southern California near the beach
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm in Southern California near the beach (3 miles away). I am looking for a front lawn ground cover that can stand many hours of daily direct sunlight, but will also get cool breezes off the ocean at night. Any suggestions? We do like color. Fragrance would be nice.

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for groundcovers for sandy areas near the coast in Los Angeles County.

Fragaria chiloensis (Beach strawberry) has fragrant flowers.  Here is more information.

The following sand verbenas are all fragrant and, as the name suggests, grow well in sand.

Abronia villosa (Desert sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia maritima (Red sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia umbellata (Beach sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia latifolia (Coastal sand verbena) is the only yellow sand verbena.  Here is more information.  This grows a little north of Los Angeles County, but it might also do well there.  Check with a local nursery that specializes in native plants.  You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by searching our National Suppliers Directory.

Oenothera californica (California primrose) is fragrant and grows well in sand.

The following gumweed is not fragrant but is attractive, nonetheless:  Grindelia stricta (Oregon gumweed) and here is more information.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Fragaria chiloensis


Abronia villosa


Abronia maritima


Abronia latifolia


Grindelia stricta

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Evergreen groundcover for full sun in Alabama
August 02, 2013 - Mr. Smartyplants, can you suggest a native, evergreen, full-sun groundcover that might thrive in zone 8a? We hope to find a mass planting that would look good beside Heuchera villosa 'autumn bride,...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating and replacing Tradescantia species
July 03, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need advice. I recently figured out my 10 month old dog is highly allergic to Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and "Wandering Jew" which covers about h...
view the full question and answer

Low ground cover for steep bank in Ohio
September 02, 2008 - We have a 3/4 acre pond that has several places along the bank too steep to mow. We would like to plant some type of ground cover in those areas that would keep the weeds out. The planting would need ...
view the full question and answer

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Miami FL
March 27, 2013 - What is a ground cover that does not need mowing or a lot of water and survives in South Florida heat and is also native to the area? I would like to turn my lawn into a more natural self-sustaining a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.