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 - June 30, 2013

From: Plain Dealing, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers, Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might stay green all year. Ivy would be okay. Graves are in the shade under a large oak tree. Can you recommend anything please?

ANSWER:

To find the following recommendations, I went to our Louisiana Recommended page that lists plants native to your area that are commercially available for landscaping.  You might like to visit the page to see if there are others in the list that you would be interested in using. 

Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony spleenwort) is an evergreen fern that grows in shade and part shade and is drought-tolerant, but does better in moist soils.

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) is an evergreen fern that grows to 1-2 feet but requires moist well-drained soil in the shade.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel) grows to 1.5 feet and makes a good evergreen groundcover in shade and part shade in moist soil.  It can bloom from February through June.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is a perennial with evergreen basal leaves that grows in shade, part shade and sun to 1-2 feet.

Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox) is a perennial that grows 1-2 feet high with pink flowers in part shade and sun.

Spigelia marilandica (Woodland pinkroot) is a perennial that grows in part shade to 1-2 feet.

Here are a couple of shrubs that you might like to use near the graves.

Leucothoe axillaris (Coastal doghobble) is an evergreen shrub that grows to 2-4 feet in shade and part shade.

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is an evergreen shrub that grows 6-12 feet in part shade and sun.   There are dwarf varieties available.

 

From the Image Gallery


Ebony spleenwort
Asplenium platyneuron

Coastal doghobble
Leucothoe axillaris

Coastal doghobble
Leucothoe axillaris

Downy phlox
Phlox pilosa

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Woodland pinkroot
Spigelia marilandica

Christmas fern
Polystichum acrostichoides

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
November 06, 2015 - I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

How to Deal with Leggy Artemisia 'Silver Mound'
October 03, 2015 - I have two Artemisia (I think 'Silver Mound') in full sun in West Austin. They have been happily growing there for the past 10 or so years. Both were hard-hit by last winter's cold weather and did...
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Care of Florida Blue or Lisiantus in Houston
October 24, 2005 - I'm in Houston, Texas and I'm growing, for the first time, Florida blues, Eustoma, purple. Since I am from California I'm not familiar with this plant. It's beautiful. How do I care for them i...
view the full question and answer

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