En EspaŅol

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
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

What will grow in red clay in Conroe TX?
April 10, 2011 - We just built a new home and the foundation was poured on red clay which is what my flowerbed area is in. Could you please tell me what can be planted that will grow. I am looking for ground cover, fl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
June 23, 2009 - I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit roug...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf lawn in Carson City, NV
October 15, 2013 - I planted habiturf just south of Reno NV May 5. First two months no or little germination because nite temps too cold. Now doing ok except battling purslane and redstem filaree.. SO, I notice bare/spa...
view the full question and answer

Phytoremediation using Paspalum vaginatum
February 06, 2015 - Do you know of any on-going research using Paspalum vaginatum as the prime plant (monoculture) for use in phytoremediation. Utilizing this plant in Vegetated Swales, Spreader Swales, Grassy Swales,...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center