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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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Sunday - February 27, 2011

From: Venice, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for Southern California near the beach
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm in Southern California near the beach (3 miles away). I am looking for a front lawn ground cover that can stand many hours of daily direct sunlight, but will also get cool breezes off the ocean at night. Any suggestions? We do like color. Fragrance would be nice.

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for groundcovers for sandy areas near the coast in Los Angeles County.

Fragaria chiloensis (Beach strawberry) has fragrant flowers.  Here is more information.

The following sand verbenas are all fragrant and, as the name suggests, grow well in sand.

Abronia villosa (Desert sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia maritima (Red sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia umbellata (Beach sand verbena) and here is more information.

Abronia latifolia (Coastal sand verbena) is the only yellow sand verbena.  Here is more information.  This grows a little north of Los Angeles County, but it might also do well there.  Check with a local nursery that specializes in native plants.  You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by searching our National Suppliers Directory.

Oenothera californica (California primrose) is fragrant and grows well in sand.

The following gumweed is not fragrant but is attractive, nonetheless:  Grindelia stricta (Oregon gumweed) and here is more information.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Fragaria chiloensis


Abronia villosa


Abronia maritima


Abronia latifolia


Grindelia stricta

 

 

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