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?

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
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

Tuesday - April 16, 2013

From: Statesville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Evergreen groundcover for full sun in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have an area that is in full sun and I need to know the best low growing evergreen that possibly flowers to help cover where a ditch/water drainage pipe is below the planting area.

ANSWER:

From your description I can't tell if the area is moist or sometimes flooded by water in the ditch below if there is rain, so I am recommending some plants that like moist soils and some that will grow in drier soils. You should carefully read the GROWING CONDITIONS section on the species page of each of the plants I am suggesting to see if they match your site.

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Asclepias humistrata (Pinewoods milkweed)  All Asclepias species are hosts to monarch butterfly larvae.  Here is more information for MonarchWatch.org.

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge) doesn't have showy blooms but it makes a very nice groundcover in sun, part shade and shade.  Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis) flowers in March, April and May.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Dryopteris cristata (Crested woodfern) doesn't flower, but is one of the few ferns that do well in full sun.  Here are more photos and information from Connecticut Botanical Society.

Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox)  Here are more photos and information from North Carolina State University.

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (Shrubby fivefingers) Here is more from the New England Wild Flower Society.

Sisyrinchium minus (Dwarf blue-eyed grass)

Packera aurea (Golden ragwort)  Here are more photos and information from Connecticut Botanical Society.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Phlox carolina (Carolina phlox)  Here are photos and more information from Alabama Plants.

Equisetum hyemale (Canuela)  If the area stays wet, then this plant would grow nicely there.  It has no flowers, but an interesting texture.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Plantain-leaf pussytoes
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Pinewoods milkweed
Asclepias humistrata

Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Crested woodfern
Dryopteris cristata

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Shrubby fivefingers
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata

Dwarf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium minus

Golden groundsel
Packera aurea

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Carolina phlox
Phlox carolina

Scouringrush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover for Orange County, California
August 05, 2012 - What ground cover do you suggest for an Orange Co., CA, backyard with a steep slope in 3-4 hours of sun? Needs to grow fast to beat the weeds. Something pretty would be nice! Thanks
view the full question and answer

Replacing Weeds with Native Plants in Dallas Area
May 29, 2011 - I have a large oak tree in my front yard and lots and lots of miscellaneous weeds (clover, chickweed, stickers, etc.). I am wanting to grow grass in my front yard, that is shaded pretty much most of t...
view the full question and answer

Is Phyla lanceolata (frogfruit) poisonous to dogs fromTitusville FL?
June 01, 2014 - Is Phyla lanceolata, also called Fogfruit, Lanceleaf Fogfruit, or Northern Fogfruit, toxic to dogs? We have it growing amongst our grass. I can't find it on any toxic plant list.
view the full question and answer

Bare feet-friendly native groundcovers for New York
April 14, 2005 - We own land at elevation 1600', near Sherburn, NY. We want to walk barefoot around the tipi area, but don't want to plant grass (mowing grass). What native ground cover would be kind to bare feet ...
view the full question and answer

Low plants to cover bank too steep to mow
June 26, 2008 - I have a bank along the road that is too steep to mow. This bank faces east and only gets 2 - 4 hours per day of sunlight. I'd like to try ground cover to prevent erosion, however visibility is a p...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center