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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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Wednesday - May 20, 2015

From: Kansas City, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for shady slope in clay soil
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to stop erosion on a very shady, sloping side of my house. It is cly soil. We drive our rider mower over it to get to the grassy area in our yard. What perennial ground over might work? Thanks

ANSWER:

The following plants are native to Jackson County, Missouri and will grow in full shade.  They would all make very nice groundcovers; however, I doubt that any of them will stand up well to being driven over by your riding mower.  The most likely to survive such treatment are the two sedges.  You might consider making a gravel or mulched path for access for your mower to your grassy area and planting a groundcover (or mixture of groundcover plants) bordering the path.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

 

From the Image Gallery


Pennsylvania sedge
Carex pensylvanica

Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Canadian wild ginger
Asarum canadense

Christmas fern
Polystichum acrostichoides

Bloodroot
Sanguinaria canadensis

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