Ground cover - Knowledgebase Question

Fallston, MD
Question by vintagewd
February 19, 2008
I live on the edge of a forested area so there is not a lot of sun exposure on my lot. I am trying to keep an area of soil covered to prevent erosion but am not having much luck. I would like to use a native groundcover that doesn't need much sunlight rather than just trying to plant grass in the area. Any suggestions?

Answer from NGA
February 19, 2008


There are a number of native plants you might try. For a spectacular appearance, you can mix several of the following suggestions:
Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum, Sensitive Fern, Common Polypody (Polypodium virginianum), Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), New York Fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), Golden Ragwort (Senecio aureus) ? handsome, scalloped, kidney-shaped leaves; golden dandelion-like flowers on tall stems in spring; covers densely, spreads quickly. Or, the following spring wildflowers which are especially beautiful or valuable for wildlife.

Jack in the Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginiana)
Cut-leaved and Slender Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata, D. heterophylla)
Dutchman?s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Round- and Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana, H. acutiloba)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Showy Orchis (Orchis spectabilis)
Smooth Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza longistylis)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina racemosa)
Star Chickweed (Stellaria pubera)
Perfoliate Bellwort (Uvullaria perfoliata)
Common Blue Violet (Viola papilionacea)

Hope this list is useful!

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