Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - November 10, 2011

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Meadow Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Groundcovers for Miami, FL
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I live in Miami, Florida. I have a medium size Bismarck Palm in my front yard. What would be a good ground cover other than grass around this palm?

ANSWER:

The Bismarck Palm [Bismarckia nobilis] is native to the island of Madagascar, so we haven’t much to say about this plant.  From the pictures on the web and descriptions, it does appear attractive and doesn’t seem to provide much shade or induce other issues for your groundcover.

Mr Smarty Plants offered a discussion of ground covers for southern Florida a while ago.  These plants would also be good choices for you.  Other excellent sources are the Florida Native Plant Society and Plant Real Florida.  Plant Real Florida has a list of recommended plants set out by plant community for Miami-Dade County, this includes groundcovers.  Similarly, the Florida Native Plant Society has a list of recommended plants for Dade County which explicitly notes groundcovers.

Two groundcovers are on both the Native Plant Society recommendations and the Wildflower Center recommended list for South Florida.  These are Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass) and Zamia pumila (Coontie).  The Native Plant Society list has five other groundcovers that are not on the Wildflower Centers list, but which the USDA lisits as native.  These include Bacopa caroliniana, Canavalia rosea, Licania michauxii, Peperomia obtusifolia, and Stachytarpheta jamaicensis.

This is a great set of options; hopefully from this you can find a groundcover that will look attractive and coexist peacefully with your Bismarckia nobilis

 

From the Image Gallery


Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Shoreline seapurslane
Sesuvium portulacastrum

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium

More Meadow Gardens Questions

Information about pre-1920s biodiversity near San Antonio
February 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am transforming my .3 acre urban yard three miles north of downtown San Antonio into a native wildscape. I am planting all native plants using your website, books, and nea...
view the full question and answer

Revegetation of school site with meadow plants from Austin
December 23, 2013 - We are revegetating a hill country school site (typical calciferous soil stripped of vegetation & minimal topsoil) with a native seed mix equal to Native American Seed "Meadow Mix". We have an abund...
view the full question and answer

Wildseed Planting in a drought
September 14, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought and no rain in the near future in central Texas would it be prudent to have a wildseed planting in October?
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Mowing equipment
September 29, 2007 - My 10 acre property along a creek in N. Hays Co. includes roughly 7 acres that is a woodland / meadow mix. I want to find a mower that I can set to a 6" cutting height, yet anything smaller than a fu...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.