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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.

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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.

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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!

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Friday - August 02, 2013

From: Birmingham, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Evergreen groundcover for full sun in Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. Smartyplants, can you suggest a native, evergreen, full-sun groundcover that might thrive in zone 8a? We hope to find a mass planting that would look good beside Heuchera villosa 'autumn bride,' in nearby shade. This is for a memorial site. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

There are not too many possibilities but here are a few.  All are listed as evergreen or semi-evergreen, will grow in the sun and all grow in Alabama:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden, Kansas Native Plants and Illinois Wildflowers.

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)   Here is more information from Ohio State University and Illinois Wildflowers.

Dryopteris cristata (Crested woodfern)  Here is more information from North Carolina State University.

Packera aurea (Golden ragwort)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage)  Here is more information from Floridata.

Be sure to read the requirements for each plant under GROWING CONDITIONS on its species page and compare them to your site to check for compatibility.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woman's tobacco
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Crested woodfern
Dryopteris cristata

Golden groundsel
Packera aurea

Golden groundsel
Packera aurea

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

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