Show-stopping Native Groundcovers

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When looking for sustainable groundcover for your going green landscape, look no further than these show- stopping native beauties.  Groundcovers have often been relegated to invasive exotic species like pachysandra, English ivy and vinca.  While easy to propagate because of their very invasive nature, these plants have escaped and are taking over natural habitats of native species.  They should be avoided, and if already present, eliminated in a sustainable landscape.

So why settle for boring and invasive plants?  Here are ten of the many fabulous alternatives available.

Partridge berry            Mitchella repens
USDA Zone 4-8

Partridgeberry_Mitchella repens Photo Credit: Jomegat/ Wikimedia Commons

Partirdgeberry is a perennial evergreen herbaceous groundcover that has fragrant pink, white or purple flowers from May to October.  It is a plant with a delightfully delicate habit, small leaves and tiny flowers.  It spreads by trailing and rarely gets taller than 2” high.  In the fall and winter you can see striking red berries in the evergreen foliage.  An excellent groundcover for acid soils under oaks, rhododendrons and other acid loving plants.  The fruits are attractive to birds. 
Partridgeberry prefers shade to part shade sites with rich moist acid soils.  Perfect for those no traffic areas under trees, since it is sensitive to being disturbed.  Once established the water needs are low to medium.  Soil conditions can be moist to dry.

California Sea Pinks      Armeria maritima   
USDA Zone 3-8

California Sea Pinks
California Sea Pink Photo Credit: © 2008 glrbrg

California Sea Pinks are a perennial clumping groundcover, which will tolerate moderate dryness.  It has dark, thick, low growing foliage with pink to magenta flowers on long stalks.  It grows about 6”-12” high, prefers well drained soils.  California Sea Pinks bloom in the spring and summer and hardy to about 35 degrees.  California Sea pinks grow best in sun to part shade.

These beauties have very conspicuous flowers from March through July.  The soil should be on the dry side.  California Sea Pinks make an excellent groundcover for sandy, seaside locations.  California Sea Pinks are native to the Pacific Coast areas.






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