Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - January 11, 2009

From: Wesley Chapel, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for damp areas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a cover ground plants that tolerate damp areas. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

There are a number of plants that serve as ground covers and like damp soil. You didn't say what height you were interested in, if it was for foot traffic on a lawn, shade or sun, etc. So, we chose two of our favorite groundcovers, several sedges, as most sedges are fond of damp soil, and some grasses. All those listed are native to Florida, and should be commercially available. We will list them in order of height: the first two are pretty low, clinging to the ground; the sedges tend to be about one foot tall and, unfortunately, many of them look a lot like weeds; finally, the grasses are taller, but are attractive and hold their places year-round. Follow the plant links to the webpage on each plant to find out if it does best in shade or sun, its height and the type of soil it likes, then make your selection based on the location where you will be using it. When you have made your choices, if you have difficulty finding the plants you want, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area.

GROUNDCOVERS

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

SEDGES

Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem)

Carex albolutescens (greenwhite sedge) - pictures

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex crus-corvi (ravenfoot sedge)

Carex glaucescens (southern waxy sedge)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

GRASSES

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill)

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum)

Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass)


Calyptocarpus vialis

Phyla nodiflora

Andropogon virginicus

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex crus-corvi

Carex glaucescens

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Eragrostis spectabilis

Muhlenbergia schreberi

Paspalum floridanum

Poa arachnifera

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Native moss to fill in between flagstones
April 21, 2008 - I live in Houston and have a long, narrow flagstone path that runs along the east side of the house. I am looking for a native moss that can fill in between the flagstones and will tolerate morning su...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Austin yard
March 08, 2012 - My main goal is to cover my yard with a "grass" or groundcover that can handle the Texas heat, predicted long drought and some dog paw traffic (without going dormant/brown in the winter). I don't n...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for vineyard from Round Rock, TX
February 04, 2013 - I will be planting a vineyard in the Hill Country next spring. I am looking to maintain low-growing understory plants across the entire vineyard to maintain soil health, choosing plants that the leaf...
view the full question and answer

Natural groundcovers beneath live oaks in Austin
July 14, 2008 - We are moving to a home in NW Austin set in a forest of live oaks (15 of them). What plants are the natural groundcovers? We want to replace the 'grass' completely. There is no sun so we don't b...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for steep slope in Washington DC
May 07, 2010 - We have a steep slope in our garden in Washington DC which has sun from noon to sun set. Could you please recommend some low maintenance plants which would be a good ground cover and limit erosion?
view the full question and answer

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