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
4 ratings

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

From: Somers, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade native to New York
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I am gradually trying to convert my garden to all natives. I am working in a shaded area under a maple tree. Are there any varieties of epimediums/barrenwort or hellebores that are native to the northeast US?

ANSWER:

There are no species of Epimedium or Helleborus native anywhere in the Americas. However, there are plenty of desirable low-growing plants for shady areas native to your region, and our Regional FactPack for the Northeast can help you identify species appropriate for your space.

Keeping in mind that I am not familiar with the specific conditions of your site, here are some initial suggestions for low-growing shade plants native to New York:

Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)
Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

For additional ideas, contact a local native plant society chapter or a nearby chapter of the Wild Ones, and be sure and consult our National Suppliers' Directory to find out who sells natives in your area.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Magnolia species are allelopathic
August 02, 2014 - Have a healthy Southern Magnolia tree around 8 years old. It seems like everything I plant next to it dies.: Variegated Spirea, Stokes Aster, Hydrangeas. Is there something it secretes like the waln...
view the full question and answer

Sedges or grasses for sun/shade in Georgetown, TX
March 24, 2008 - I have an area that is part shaded (under oak trees) and part in the sun. I would like cedar sedge in the shaded areas (some is already growing there)but I can not find where to buy it. Do you know w...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for part shade in Texas
January 31, 2015 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm, for some reason, at odds with myself about a shrub decision. I have need about 8 ft of hedge-like evergreen shrub(s) that I can maintain around 4ft to go under a window. It...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover to help ease erosion in shade
May 17, 2008 - My house is situated on an embankment near a creek. We are looking for ground cover plants that can help ease the erosion of the embankment without being invasive for the existing trees. They must be...
view the full question and answer

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