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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 11, 2012

From: Kingsland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
Answered by: Larry Larson


I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).


Mr Smarty Plants has a couple of ways to assemble that list.

The first is the direct way. If you go to the “Mr Smarty Plants” link under EXPLORE PLANTS, you will see that you can search Smarty Plants for keywords.  Inserting “groundcover” gets you way too many responses [256].  All of these give you lists and recommendations for groundcovers.  Here are some pretty good answers for places close to Kingsland:

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
Groundcover for Austin yard
Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
Grass for shady area

  These are all lists that Mr Smarty Plants put together for specific situations in nearby cities. 

  Another approach is to make your own list.  Under “RECOMMENDED SPECIES” – there are lists for both Central Texas and the Edwards Plateau.  If you choose “Grass/Grass-like” under General Appearance for the Edwards Plateau collection, 48 different natives will be selected.  Groundcovers are a bit harder to sort out, but if you choose Herbs and 0-1 feet tall, there will results a list of 49 low plants, most of which will make a good groundcover.  

Here are some pictures from excellent choices from those listings.


From the Image Gallery

Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Shasta Daisies without Petals
August 21, 2014 - My shasta daisies do not have the white petals, only the yellow center is in bloom. There are no visible signs of insects. They get a good amount of sun - about 5 hours per day. What could be the prob...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent creekside erosion in Nacogdoches County, Texas
December 09, 2014 - I am looking for some advice on plants native to Texas that can help prevent erosion. I own a wooded lot with a creek and would like to consolidate the sides of the creek against potential erosion. I...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Thornton CO
June 04, 2012 - I want to order ground cover because I don't want to mess with grass any more. I live in Colorado, north of Denver. The soil has a lot of clay. I tried clover and that did not do well. My yard is par...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
May 04, 2013 - My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will c...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center