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
5 ratings

Tuesday - November 01, 2011

From: Watauga, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Shade tolerant groundcover plants for Tarrant County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in far NE Tarrant County (Ft Worth), TX and need a groundcover that can tolerate complete shade and poor, rocky, clay soil. I need mostly for erosion control, and needs to be relatively low

ANSWER:

Here are several groundcovers that will grow in the shade.  Except for the two grasses, they are semi-evergreen or evergreen.

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) is evergreen to semi-evergreen. "Evergreen in areas with mild or no winter, deciduous in areas with cold winters."

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) is semi-evergreen.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel) is evergreen to semi-evergreen.

Carex planostachys (Cedar sedge) is evergreen.

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) dies back in winter but is perennial.  This grass grows in clumps and can reach 2 feet or more, but is very attractive.

Muhlenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill) dies back in winter but is perennial.

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover for shallow soil in hillside north of San Antonio
March 27, 2010 - I live in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. The yard around the house has very shallow soil and is sloped. Bermuda has a hard time maintaining. Are there any other low growing ground covers that ...
view the full question and answer

Vinca minor and St. Augustine grass
November 22, 2009 - Will St. Augustine grass choke out vinca minor?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a slope in San Antonio TX
July 02, 2013 - Slope growing, no or little irrigation ground cover. The slope is probably greater than 30%. The area is currently a construction road at the base, cut into the hill. To re-establish with a ground cov...
view the full question and answer

Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
November 19, 2012 - I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
view the full question and answer

Vinca as a groundcover
February 11, 2016 - Someone told me that Vinca would be a great ground cover for my very large mostly shaded area. How can I establish it and where can I get it? Thanks in advance.
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