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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

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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Tuesday - May 24, 2016

From: Apple Valley, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for sunny slope in Minnesota
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I'm from Apple Valley, MN. We backyard has large slope areas that get sun through out the day. We have huge weed and buck thorn problem. Can you please suggest a good ground covering plant that grows not more than 4/5 inches

ANSWER:

Here are plants native to Minnesota that could serve as ground covers.  All of them will grow in the sun, but may do better in part shade.  Please read the Growing Conditions on each species page to learn more about whether they would be suitable for your site.

Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry dogwood)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox)  Here are photos and more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Rubus pubescens (Dwarf red blackberry)  Here are photos and more information from Northern Ontario Plant Database.

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (Shrubby five-fingers) Here are photos and more information from Minnesota Wildflowers.

Verbena bracteata (Bigbract verbena)  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Viola labradorica (Alpine violet)  Here are photos and more information from Plants for a Future.

Viola sororia (Missouri violet)  Here are photos and more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Viola pedatifida [syn.=Viola palmata var. pedatifida](Prairie violet) Here are photos and more informatation from Minnesota Wildflowers and Illinois Wildflowers.

Woodsia ilvensis (Rusty cliff fern) Here are photos and more information from New England Wildflower Society.

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge)  Here are photos and more information from The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Dwarf red blackberry
Rubus pubescens

Shrubby five-fingers
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata

Bigbract verbena
Verbena bracteata

Alpine violet
Viola labradorica

Missouri violet
Viola sororia

Prairie violet
Viola pedatifida

Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

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