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
1 rating

Monday - April 02, 2012

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Fast Growing Ground Cover for Sun in San Antonio
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

What is the fastest growing ground cover for San Antonio Texas (predominantly sunny)?

ANSWER:

Here is a recent Mr. Smarty Plants answer to a question similar to yours. In brief, this answer recommends several native sedges (genus Carex) and two other native plants. Since you are interested in fast growing and sedges are likely to be a bit slow, I will focus on the other two.

The first is a personal favorite of this Mr. Smarty Plants, Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) aka horseherb, lawnflower, or creeping Cinderella (in Australia). This plant will do best in shade or partial shade, but does well in sun. In addition to fast growth, it has a couple of things going for it: it is attractive, with bright green foliage and tiny, yellow, daisy-like flowers, and it is readily available. Unless your yard is very well manicured, you probably already have patches of it growing somewhere. You don't have to buy it, just dig some up, divide it and replant where you want it.

The second plant is Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit). This plant is very tolerant of sun and is fast growing. It produces tiny white flowers. Like straggler daisy, you can probably find some growing wild in your area.

Both of these palnts are native to central Texas and well adapted to our heat, drought and occasional floods. Both will go dormant in most winters, but come right back when things warm up.

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Groundcovers Questions

Plants to grow between patio pavers
March 15, 2013 - We'd like to use poured concrete pavers for a deck. What grows well, whether it be grass or other, between these. We'll have 4-6" between 4 foot pavers. And would love to find something that does...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling Groundcover for Phenix AL
March 30, 2014 - Hi I am trying to find a grass or ground cover to control erosion on firing range berms which are 1:1 grade on a firing range outside of Phenix City AL. Sandy clay soil, direct sunlight almost all day...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, shade tolerant groundcover for Pacific Northwest
August 09, 2012 - What's a good low maintenance, shade tolerant ground cover for the Pacific Northwest? It needs to have good erosion control, too.
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Southern California near the beach
February 27, 2011 - I'm in Southern California near the beach (3 miles away). I am looking for a front lawn ground cover that can stand many hours of daily direct sunlight, but will also get cool breezes off the ocean a...
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