Ground Cover in Shade - Knowledgebase Question

Marshall, TX
Avatar for phillmss
Question by phillmss
April 24, 1998
My rather large yard in Northeast Texas has many pine trees, so areas of it are very shady. I have given up on establishing grass in these areas, I am wondering about a ground cover that does well in shade. I have heard that a native Texas plant called "horseherb" is good for dry, shady areas with poor soil (this describes my yard) but I have been unable to locate any plants or seeds. Any suggestions?

Answer from NGA
April 24, 1998
Horseherb, Calyptocarpus vialis, also called Zexmenis hispidula, grows to a height of 1 1/2 to 3 feet, with lance-shaped leaves. It prefers a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Contact Plant Delights Nursery, 9241 Sauls Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603 (ph# 919-772-4794) for more information about the plant. (I believe they classify it under Zexmenis)

Other options include:

Ajuga reptans - durable, reliable; adapts to sun and shade, tolerates dry soil
Euonymus fortunei (winter creeper) - sun and shade, growth is trailing and vine-like, will form solid cover.
Hedera spp. (various ivies; English ivy is Hedera helix)
Liriope (lily turf) - strap-like leaves, sun and shade, looks like coarse, shaggy grass; small flowers in summer

I hope this gives you some ideas!

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