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

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

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

Winter groundcover for shaded backyard in Austin
January 10, 2013 - I live in south Austin and have a shaded backyard. During the summer, the lawn died and the ground is now bare. I'd like to plant some kind of winter grass or ground cover that will hold the soil i...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for area under oaks in Lake Conroe, Texas
October 17, 2010 - I live just off Lake Conroe, and my backyard is more dirt than grass. It is under a number of oak trees, and the dirt is more of a silt than a sand. I need suggestions for a quick growing ground cover...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
May 11, 2013 - I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?
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