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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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Monday - May 16, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: What to plant between patio flagstones in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I would like to plant something between my flagstones on the patio. Something that doesn't require a lot of water, low growing, and can stand a little to moderate traffic. It is in a shade to partly shade area. Any ideas for Austin, Texas?

ANSWER:

Well, one idea is to go to our Native Plant Database  and scroll down to the Combination Search Box. Select Texas under State, Herb under Habit, and Perennial  under Duration. Check Part shade under Light requirement, Dry under Soil moisture, and 0-1ft under height. Click the Submit Combination Search Button, and you will a list of 54 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking  on the scientific name of each species will bring up its NPIN page that has a description of the plant along with growth requirements and images. These aren’t all suitable for growing between flagstones but there are some that you might like.

Here are a few that I found that may be possibilities
 Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Sedum nanifolium (Dwarf stonecrop)

The Wild Flower Center is all about flowering plants and trees, but you might find this link to mosses interesting.


Calyptocarpus vialis


Dichondra argentea


Mitchella repens


Phyla nodiflora

 

 

 

 

 

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