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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.

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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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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!

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Wednesday - April 15, 2015

From: Stanfield, NC
Region: Select Region
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Evergreen Groundcovers for a Sunny Clay Soil in NC
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We have a landscaping business in Stanfield, NC. We are looking for suggestions for evergreen groundcovers for a sunny clay area. They need to fill in quickly and stay low for 1,600 square feet. Thank you for any suggestions you have. Can you also give the name(s) of suppliers where I can obtain them?

ANSWER:

Let’s start with a list of native plants for your area. Take a look at the Native Plant Database on the www.wildflower.org website and put in the following search criteria: State = North Carolina, habit = herb (for herbaceous), duration = perennial, light requirement = full sun, soil moisture = moist, leaf retention = evergreen, height = 0-1 feet. This search will revealed one native plant to consider.

Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair spleenwort) Dainty, narrow, 2-10 in. evergreen fronds are all alike and spring in rosettes of from 10 to more than 100. The stems are dark brown and the pinnae are opposite and notched on their upper edges. Moist humus among limestone rocks.
Requires little special care, although it may benefit by protection from winter and early spring winds.

Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh NC have listed this fern in the past but it is currently unavailable.

Far Reaches Farm in Washington State list this fern in their catalog.

 

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