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

Fast Growing Ground Cover for Sun in San Antonio
April 02, 2012 - What is the fastest growing ground cover for San Antonio Texas (predominantly sunny)?
view the full question and answer

Short or mowable plant for walkway
June 03, 2008 - I'd like a short and/or mowable plant to use as a walkway in and around a vegetable garden in upstate NY. I was planning on clover, but I want to use a native plant if possible. The native clovers ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling Groundcover for Phenix AL
March 30, 2014 - Hi I am trying to find a grass or ground cover to control erosion on firing range berms which are 1:1 grade on a firing range outside of Phenix City AL. Sandy clay soil, direct sunlight almost all day...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for steep slope in Washington DC
May 07, 2010 - We have a steep slope in our garden in Washington DC which has sun from noon to sun set. Could you please recommend some low maintenance plants which would be a good ground cover and limit erosion?
view the full question and answer

Fast growing groundcover for New York
September 02, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I love your site! But I can't quite find this answer: can you recommend a fast-growing groundcover native to southern NY State (Dutchess County) that I can plant NOW (Augus...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center