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
1 rating

Wednesday - March 02, 2011

From: Graford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Low groundcover for Possum Kingdom
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am seeking a very low ground cover (advised so snakes and rats won't take cover), that is drought resistant and grows on a rocky steep incline to the lake in full afternoon/evening sun at Possum Kingdom. I know that is a big order! Any help is greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plant acknowledges you live in Texas.  There will be snakes and rats; that sort of comes with the territory! The good news is that the snakes will keep the rodent population under control and then move on when their food source is depleted.

Very low ground covers that will fit your needs would be Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) or Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy).  The Frogfruit is expected to grow to 3"-6" and the Straggler daisy to 6"-12" at the maximum.  Both are considered moderate to high drought resistant and will go dormant for hard conditions.

     
Phyla nodiflora
                Calyptocarpus vialis

You might also want to consider some short grasses. Recommended grasses for North Central Texas include Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) and Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri (Curly-mesquite).  Both are quite low and drought tolerant. Native American Seed has some short turf grasses, including these, that might meet your requirements. Since your land slopes, you might want to consider keeping the seeds in place with an erosion control blanket.  The Native American Seed Company has these items, and their catalog has good advice on preparing the ground before planting seeds and their care afterwards.

          
Bouteloua dactyloides
          Hilaria belangeri

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for Austin yard
March 08, 2012 - My main goal is to cover my yard with a "grass" or groundcover that can handle the Texas heat, predicted long drought and some dog paw traffic (without going dormant/brown in the winter). I don't n...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shallow soil in hillside north of San Antonio
March 27, 2010 - I live in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. The yard around the house has very shallow soil and is sloped. Bermuda has a hard time maintaining. Are there any other low growing ground covers that ...
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
October 03, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
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