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

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Removing bermudagrass from buffalograss in Smithville TX
May 01, 2013 - I have a lawn created two years ago with buffalo grass sod in Smithville, TX. Recently several areas of bermudagrass have started to flourish in the buffalo grass lawn. Can you recommend a herbicide...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Southern California near the beach
February 27, 2011 - 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 a...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Maryland to replace English ivy
September 21, 2009 - What is a suitable ground cover native replacement for english ivy? Native to Maryland.
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