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
1 rating

Friday - December 21, 2012

From: Ligonier, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Groundcovers, Ferns, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Source for ground pine plants from Ligonier PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Where can I purchase "ground pine plants? I want to use them for erosion control.


Because this plant does not appear in our Native Plant Database, we went somewhere else to try to identify it and its uses. From borealforest.org,  here is an article on lycopodium obscurum (ground pine). We learned that it is not related to Pinus (pine trees) at all, but is considered a clubmoss or fern. Here is some more information from rook.org.

Looking at the USDA Plant Profile Map for this plant, we learned that it is recorded in growing pretty much everywhere in Pennsylvania, including Westmoreland County. It would appear, therefore, that it should be fairly easy to obtain. Among other things, we learned that "obscurum" can be translated as "rare" and that in some states, including New York and Indiana, it is considered threatened or endangered. If you still want to find a source, we suggest you go to our National Suppliers Directory; put your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information but we would not set your hopes too high as some of the information we found said it was difficult to propagate and best done with spores.




More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover Planting in Shiro TX
July 09, 2015 - I have been collecting seeds from White Avens and Texas Sedge to use as ground covers. What is the optimal time to plant these seeds? We have been experiencing heavy rains in our area lately, so I am ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
March 19, 2007 - I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Ground covering around cypresses in pool area
July 25, 2008 - We have multiple cypress trees planted along our pool area..they shed way too much..but I'm looking for something to put under and around them over the dirt..do you suggest wood chips or a ground cov...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for steep slope under large oak in East Texas
May 17, 2009 - I live in Longview and have a slope on the west side of my house that is eroding. There is a large 18-20 y-o oak tree that shades half the slope. The slope itself is too steep to safely/easily mow. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

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