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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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