En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Short, Shady Plants for South Carolina
February 24, 2015 - I have a shady part of my mother's garden that doesn't drain very well. Do you have any suggestions as to what type of flowers or plants (preferably native to S.C.) that aren't red that might grow ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

Trees for cutout in driveway in Houston
November 12, 2010 - I live in central Houston. I have a new driveway with a cutout of 4' x 8'. I would like to plant a shade tree that will not break up the concrete. What do you recommend?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center