Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 Groundcovers Questions

Would Habiturf or buffalograss work in Charlottesville VA
July 18, 2012 - Hello, I am looking for an alternative to traditional turf grasses. I stumbled upon some information on your site about buffalo grass and LBJWC's 'Habiturf' mix and would like to know if this w...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for North Central Texas
January 24, 2009 - I live in north central Texas. My backyard has very fine, powdery sand soil. The previous owners of the property let the grass die out and now every time it gets windy, the sand gets into our patio an...
view the full question and answer

Is dichondra repens native from Hillsboro, TX
November 28, 2012 - What about diachondra repens? Is it native? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Native groundcover for sun in East Texas
June 09, 2008 - I am hoping you can advise me on a native, flowering, fast growing groundcover that would thrive in full sun, with some shady areas under a couple camellia trees. I live in Nacogdoches and have sandy...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

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