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
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

Low maintenance, native plants for sloping drive near Philadelphia
October 20, 2004 - My cabin is located in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. I am looking for low maintenance plants that would look good on the sides of a driveway that slopes upward. This is a potential project fo...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcover for New Braunfels, TX
September 24, 2011 - Could you recommend some deer resistant ground cover plants for the New Braunfels area? We have tried Ajuga and Katie's Ruellia and they have been eaten.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for North Central Texas
May 27, 2014 - I have a very large area that is in Palo Pinto County, Texas. We tried to plant grass but it never established. I'm looking for a ground cover that does well in shade (lots of oak tees) and is semi d...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a sunny location
April 20, 2011 - Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
view the full question and answer

Finding a manzanita species suitable for Fort Worth, TX
April 28, 2015 - Which manzanita shrub would thrive best in the Fort Worth, Tx. area? I was thinking of planting it in a large pot. Thank You!
view the full question and answer

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