Native Cover Plants
Bearberry (Archtostaphylos uva-ursi)
Zones 3-8 Height 3-8 inches, width 2-4 feet. Part sun to full sun in acid, sandy or well-drained soil. Very attractive ground cover, with large, bright red berries amid dark green foliage. The leaves turn a dark red in winter. This is a plant for those difficult areas you’d like to cover. It will tolerate both heat and sun, provided the soil is well-drained. Adding amendments that reduce pH may be necessary. Bearberry is an important pollinator plant, providing early spring nectar and hosting several species of butterfly larvae.
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Zones 3-9 Height 3-10 inches, ground cover. Sun to shade, moist soil. A superb ground cover for the woodland landscape. Similar to Heuchera, with medium green, deeply veined leaves and an airy, frothy wand of white flowers. Excellent companion for Creeping Phlox, Dicentra or Trillium. Spreads quickly by stem runners.
Golden Ragwort, aka Golden Groundsel (Packera or Senecio aurea)
Zones 4-9 Height -12 inches, spacing 12 inches. Easily grown in full sun to shade in moist, well-drained soil. An attractive groundcover with bright yellow, daisy-like flowers in clusters, about 2-3” above the basal leaves in spring. Spreads both by seed and roots to form dense colonies.
Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Zones 5-9 Height 6-12 inches, ground cover. Part sun to shade, moist to dry. Semi-evergreen ground cover, that produces a mound of bright yellow happy faces, beginning in mid-spring. Like a strawberry, the plants spread by sending out new shoots that set root a few inches away. Continues to bloom sporadically until hard frost.
Prostrate Blue Violet (Viola walteri) “Silver Gem”
Zones 3-8 Height 6-8″, spacing 12-16″. Ground cover for shady, moist areas.