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

Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: amherst, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought-resistant ground cover for Massachusetts
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Mr Smarty Plants I am looking for drought resistant,low maintenance ground cover for a LEED certified project in Florence MA. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

My best suggestions would be Vaccinium angustifolium (Late lowbush blueberry) and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick).  Both of these species are slow-growing and require moisture while getting established.  Another possibility is Viola pedata (Birdfoot violet).  For an extra bit of color here and there, consider trying Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry).

   Late lowbush blueberry is available here and Kinnininnick from a west coast nursery.  The violet and strawberry can be purchased at this nursery.  Other more local nurseries may also have these plants.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lowbush blueberry
Vaccinium angustifolium

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Birdfoot violet
Viola pedata

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Evergreen privacy hedge resistant to verticillium wilt
September 27, 2011 - I am looking for an evergreen, fast-growing privacy hedge (over 6') that is resistant to verticillium wilt and has low water requirements. I live in Monrovia, CA and have to replace hopseed bushes w...
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant for a Sunny South-facing House Wall in Tucson
March 01, 2014 - I have a problematic block wall on the south side of the house and I what a plant to soften the look of the wall. I tried butterfly bush which I'm told died from of bounce-back heat from the wall. I ...
view the full question and answer

Hardy plants for Oklahoma raised garden at Oklahoma school
February 12, 2014 - I am planting a raised flower bed with fifth graders. It will have a little shade in the morning and evening possibly. What plants are durable and can withstand OK summer heat. We will be planting ...
view the full question and answer

Small to medium drought-tolerant trees for Southern California
June 01, 2012 - I am looking for drought tolerant trees to line one side of our 70 foot driveway. We live in Southern California. Currently, we have queen palms, but I would like something more native or drought to...
view the full question and answer

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