Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 08, 2016

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for a moist, shady spot in central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I am looking for a plant that will grow in almost full shade with plenty of moisture along a fence. We are looking at putting down some flagstone with possibly some moss growing in between, but we don't want it to take over the St. Augustine that is in the rest of the lawn. Thank you!

ANSWER:

I guess that you are looking for plants that are relatively low-growing near the flagstones.  If you go to our Native Plant Database page and click on Combination Search you can enter the parameters that suit your needs and get a list of species that may be suitable.

I have taken a few species from that listing that I know do well in central Texas.  Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage)Aquilegia chrysantha (Golden columbine)Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana (Hinckley's golden columbine)Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)Scutellaria ovata (Heartleaf skullcap)Thelypteris kunthii (Wood fern), Carex amphibola (Creek sedge),  Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage) and Ruellia humilis (Low wild petunia).  These plants thrive in shady and moist sites.

Many of these species should be available at plant nurseries in your area.  Examples are Barton Creek Nursery and the Natural Gardener in the Austin vicinity.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Prairie petunia
Ruellia humilis

Hinckley's golden columbine
Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Heartleaf skullcap
Scutellaria ovata

Wood fern
Thelypteris kunthii

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

More Groundcovers Questions

Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
February 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for a slope in MA
April 04, 2010 - We live in Eastern MA. We have a hill behind our house that was previously mulched. Slope is 45 degrees in direct sun, clay soil. We have another hill by the road side that is partially shaded with ...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcover for New Braunfels, TX
September 24, 2011 - Could you recommend some deer resistant ground cover plants for the New Braunfels area? We have tried Ajuga and Katie's Ruellia and they have been eaten.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Road Frontage in NC
March 12, 2015 - I need a fast growing ground cover or perennial flower for 1,000 feet of road frontage about one acre that will choke out weeds. I do not want to do much ground prep or any ground prep. I do not want...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014 - What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.