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Mr. Smarty Plants - Ground cover for a sunny location

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Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: LaRue, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for a sunny location
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

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 butterflies so much the better.

ANSWER:

A flowering, berry producing, evergreen ground cover that will attract birds and butterflies for a sunny location seems like a tall order. If erosion is an issue on the slope, you may need plants with fibrous roots to hold the soil in place. However, your problem with this project may be narrowing down all your choices! The following suggestions meet your requirements except where noted. You may want to use a combination of ground cover plants. Enjoy those birds and butterflies and don't forget that bees like those blossoms too!

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) This evergreen ground cover spreads enthusiastically, has white blossoms from May to October and attracts butterflies.

Quincula lobata (Purple groundcherry) White, purple, and/or blue blossoms may appear from March through October and produce berries. Where there are berries, there are birds.

Sedum nanifolium (Dwarf stonecrop) This mat-forming sedum ground cover has yellow and green blossoms May through December and is often planted in rock gardens.

Helianthella californica (California helianthella) The fragrant blossoms on this aster are yellow from July to September. Butterflies love them.

Lenophyllum texanum (Coastal stonecrop) This succulent sedum works well in a xeriscape. The rosy yellow blossoms occur June to August.

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) This daisy straggles into landscapes sometimes uninvited, meaning it should be easy to maintain if not contain. Tiny yellow blossoms dot the greenery to the delight of sulfur and skipper butterflies from March through November. It may go dormant in the winter but can be paired with other blooming plants. See the full description in our Plant Database.

Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot) OK, I am sneaking this non-bloomer in because I love its silvery good looks. It doesn't blossom but will densely cover large areas and controls erosion.

Acalypha radians (Cardinal's feather) From April to November, red blooms grace this pretty ground cover. It has clump-forming roots.

Artemisia ludoviciana (Louisiana artemisia) The fragrant silver foliage and small yellow flowers of this plant are semi-evergreen. It stands 1-2 ft high and spreads in large colonies.

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) You may have noticed that roadsides break forth with showy pink primroses in February extending to July depending on rainfall.  Birds love the seeds.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) The blue and violet tubular flowers attract hummingbirds as well as butterflies. This adaptable ground cover blooms March to June.

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup) While the purple poppy mallow goes dormant in the summer, from March to June bees and butterflies flock to its white, pink or purple blossoms.


Phyla nodiflora


Quincula lobata


Sedum nanifolium


Helianthella californica


Lenophyllum texanum


Calyptocarpus vialis


Dichondra argentea


Acalypha radians


Artemisia ludoviciana


Oenothera speciosa


Salvia lyrata


Callirhoe involucrata

 

 

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