Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 13, 2013

From: Salisbury, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking for something very low to the ground that will not take a lot of maintenance. Do you have any ideas of what will work? Help

ANSWER:

This sounds like a lovely idea.  I have several suggestions that are native to Maryland; but since I don't know much about your site (e.g., amount of shade/sunlight or available moisture) except for the type of soil, you will need to read the GROWING CONDITIONS of each species to see if it is compatible with your site.

Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox) grows in part shade and shade and will grow in moist sandy soil.

Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox) grows in sun and part shade in dry sand and is evergreen.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) grows in sun and part shade and will grow in dry or moist sand.

Sedum ternatum (Woodland stonecrop) grows in shade in moist, thin soils.

Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry) grows in sun to part shade in well-drained soils.  it is evergreen.   Here is more information from Missouri Botancal Garden.

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes) grows in sun and part shade in dry sandy soil.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) grows in sun or part shade in well-drained, moist, sandy soils.

Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and gold) grows in part shade in moist, well-drained to drier soils.

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry) grows in sun and part shade in variable dry soils.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) grows in sun and part shade in dry sandy soil.

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry) grows in part shade and shade in a variety of moist soils including sand.

Oenothera fruticosa (Narrowleaf evening-primrose) grows in sun in  moist, well-drained soils.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Woodland stonecrop
Sedum ternatum

Woman's tobacco
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Green and gold
Chrysogonum virginianum

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Narrowleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera fruticosa

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native Wildflowers and Grasses for Texas Acreage
April 15, 2015 - I recently purchased about 36 acres in Somervell County, Texas where cedar had been bulldozed and burned (many large spots). What would be the best native flowers or grasses to replant in that area? L...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
view the full question and answer

Growing Alopia drummondii from Seed
July 09, 2015 - Can you give me information about, or a resource for, growing Alophia drummondii (propeller plant) from seed? I have the seed but don't know when & the best method for planting?
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.