En Español

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

Friday - August 23, 2013

From: Beaverton, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for Oregon gravel path
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a native ground cover to grow in the gravel between flagstones in a path in my backyard. The gravel is 1/4-10 so it is very loose. The path gets midday sun but is shaded by the house in the morning and a big-leaf maple in the afternoon. The path is adjacent to beds with drip irrigation so it can be as dry or wet as I want. My first thought was creeping thyme, but I'd prefer something native.

ANSWER:

Here are a number of low-growing plants suitable for groundcovers.   They will all grow in part shade and are native to Washington County, Oregon or surrounding area.

Fragaria chiloensis (Beach strawberry)  Here is more information from University of California Marin Master Gardeners.

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)  Here is more information from Seven Oaks Native Nursery in Albany OR.

Phlox adsurgens (Northern phlox)  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery in Half Moon Bay CA.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)  Here is more information from Perennials.com.

Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. integrifolia (Ledge stonecrop)  Here is more information from Pacific Northwest Wildflowers.

Saxifraga bronchialis (Yellowdot saxifrage)  Here are photos and more information from Pacific Northwest Wildflowers.

Whipplea modesta (Common whipplea)  Here is more information from the Watershed Nursery.

 

From the Image Gallery


Beach strawberry
Fragaria chiloensis

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

Northern phlox
Phlox adsurgens

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Ledge stonecrop
Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. integrifolia

Common whipplea
Whipplea modesta

More Groundcovers Questions

Removal of bramble under live oaks and replacing with groundcover
September 26, 2007 - We have several large live oaks on the front of our 12 acre property in Hockley, Texas. Under and around each oak is an extensive amount of bramble which we would like to remove so that we can enjoy ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance plants for crack in concrete
July 01, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to grow some very low maintenance weeds, mosses and flowers out of a crack in a slab of concrete. Can you recommend any species that would do well in this sort...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for East Texas
May 14, 2012 - We live in east Texas, right on the beginning of the piney words, the soil is a little sandy. We have taken up a wooden walkway but can't get anything to grow there. Could the soil be dead from year ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance ground cover for pool area in Corona CA
March 28, 2009 - Hi, I have this slope in my backyard that goes up to the neighbors yard. I'm looking for a low maintenance ground cover type plant that will stop erosion and won't cause a mess for my pool which is...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center