Show-stopping Native Groundcovers (continued)

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Bearberry                    Arctostaphylos uva-ursi  
USDA Zone 3a – 7b

This evergreen shrub is a tough beauty that does well in many sections of the country.  It has leathery leaves on ground trailing branches.  Spring flowers are short racemes of white or pink flowers, blooming from March to June.  They make a stunning contrast, because of the red stems, white flowers and yellow-green foliage. In summer the little rounded leaves turn to a dark, glossy green in the summer highlighted by bright red berries. Fall brings  foliage that has turned a reddish purple that, along with the berries, persist into winter. 

Bearberry does well in sun, part sun or shade, however in the South full sun is not recommended.  It has a high drought tolerance and should not be fertilized, making it a great plant for xeriscaping.  Bearberry is very wildlife friendly.  Birds like the berries and it attracts hummingbirds.  Bearberry is also is a larval host for butterflies.  Hoary Elfin (Callophrys polia), Brown Elfin (C. augustinus), Freija Fritillary (Boloria freija) like to feed on it before entering the pupal stage. 

 

Rose Verbena               Glandularia Canadensis  

USDA Zone 5a-8b

Glandularia Canadensis   Rose verbena Photo Credit:
Carl E. Lewis/Flickr

Rose verbena is an herbaceous perennial that spreads by rooting itself at the branch nodes.  It will form a dense carpet of rose-pink flowers in northern and southern climates.  Various Verbena species, sometimes called vervain are found in a native state from Quebec, Wisconsin and South Dakota to Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.  It is a highly versatile groundcover suitable for rock gardens and poor soils.

Rose verbena is a ground hugger, growing up to 10” tall, preferring shade part of the day.  Although it is a perennial with evergreen foliage, in harsh northern climates it will grow as an annual.  Both the flowers and foliage of Rose verbena have a pleasant fragrance and will attract butterflies, but also rabbits and deer, so protect your vegetables.


 

 


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