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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - November 23, 2013

From: Spartanburg, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers
Title: Native Groundcovers for Spartanburg, SC
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I need suggestions for native groundcovers for Spartanburg, SC. The area to be covered is a fairly steep slope, with a lot of afternoon sun. In the morning, some areas remain shaded until noon while one end gets morning sun in addition to the afternoon sun. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!

ANSWER:

   Mr. Smarty Plants found lots of suggestions for you!  Almost so many that it was hard to sort them all out.  In searching around, the best of the material I found giving suggestions was a series of web postings.  The Clemson Cooperative Extension had a great article on South Carolina groundcovers, including a list of recommendations.  That's just about enough right there, but there was also a list for shade from the South Carolina Garden Guru, and one somewhat lighter page, but quite consistent, from “Gardening in South Carolina – Recommended Groundcovers”.

  Mr Smarty Plants has also answered similar questions from areas around you – although not specifically Spartanburg, and ranging far afield:
Title: Plants for North Myrtle Beach SC
Title: Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
Title: Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia     [Recommends Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) and Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit), very standard native groundcovers!]
Title: Evergreen groundcover for full sun in North Carolina
Title: Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
Title: Native plants for erosion control in North Carolina

Title:
Evergreen shrubs native to North Georgia

   I sure hope this is enough reading for you!  Not to shrink from making a definite list of suggestions, my next step is to see what plants made several of those lists, the following list includes groundcovers that are both considered native to South Carolina by the Wildflower Center – AND – are on the Clemson Extension list:

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)
Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox)
Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and gold)
Hypericum adpressum (Creeping st. johnswort)
Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)
Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly) 

  If you then work through the plants records,  several of these are more suited to your lightly shady areas and others ready for full sun.  Take this into account in your choices and planting and you should have a lovely hillside!

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Allegheny spurge
Pachysandra procumbens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Green and gold
Chrysogonum virginianum

Creeping st. john's-wort
Hypericum adpressum

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

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