Groundcovers

 

Pineland Lantana  Lantana depressa

 


 

Quailberry  Crossopetalum illicifolium

Here is quailberry (which some sources list as christmasberry).  With its tough, spiny leaves, it resembles the American holly (Ilex opaca) that is used in making wreaths.  Even though it's in a different plant family than the holly, a sprig of quailberry is appropriate anytime as a desktop accent, right next to your lucky bamboo, and the pictures of the kids.  All you need to do is go out in your yard and snip off a few cuttings.

Quailberry is a prostrate-growing shrub, best used as a border plant, especially over rocks.  It generally stays under 24" in height and readily spreads over well-drained terrain in full or partial sun.  Don't bother to water it once it's established.  

 

Fruits, about 1/4" diameter, are found throughout the year.

New growth glows with surreal colors, just like a patch of FruitLoops.

At right and below, quailberry in 3-gal. containers.

 

 


 

Spiderwort  Tradescantia ohiensis

This plant is found throughout the Eastern U.S.  Will take full sun to part shade, and moist to dry conditions.

Flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon.

 


Havana Skullcap  Scutellaria havanensis

Drought tolerant groundcover produced in the rocky pinelands of the Caribbean area, including South Florida.  Tiny ("), attractive purple flower found throughout the year.  Low-spreading growth habit.

Skullcap is a dependable choice for well-drained locations in full to part sun (try to avoid planting it in spots exposed to late-afternoon sun). 

It is used to alkaline soil.  You can even plant it in holes in your coral rock wall.

Once you plant it, it will cheerfully spread around and reseed itself in a localized area (don't worry, it's not invasive), so some will always come back, even after you think it's gone. 

It is a patient, loyal plant that is committed to being a part of your life, more like a pet than a plant, sharing infatuation, joy, grief and resolve, with a gentle wag in the wind.

I see you as you pass by in the morning, as you go off somewhere, always in a hurry.  You glance longingly in my direction.  I just know that you wish you could lie down on the ground next to me and discuss the sunshine and the wind.  What could be more important than that?  Where are you going? Come back here!  Hey!  I'm talking to you!

We've got loads of Havana skullcap in 1-gal., ready to sprawl over your rocks.

 


 

Ruellia squarrosa

This is a low-growing Caribbean petunia, enjoying alkaline soil conditions.  It will spread around and fill in beds, lasting for years, without becoming unmanageable, like some other species of Ruellia.  It looks best in slightly shaded conditions with good air circulation and proper drainage.  
   

 


 

Dwarf Porterweed  Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

(Temporarily out of stock)

Low-growing (generally under 24") native groundcover, not to be confused with the blue porterweed  Stachytarpheta urticifolia that gets to be 5' high or so. 

Your butterflies will love you for planting this.

 

 


Tickseed  Coreopsis leavenworthii  

(Temporarily out of stock)

Various species of tickseed are found throughout the US.  It is the Florida state wildflower.  The flowers are a striking hue of yellow that can be seen for a long distance.  They do best in full sun at the edge of moist areas.

When tickseed finishes flowering, it dies.  If you trim old flower heads regularly, it will continue to produce new flowers. 

Spread the old flower heads around the planting bed, and it will re-seed, without becoming invasive.  In a few seasons, you will have a nice meadow effect.  

 

 

 


Yellowtop  Flaveria linearis  

Found along the edge of pinelands and roadsides.  Persistent perennial; tends to branch profusely.  Flowers over a long period of time; re-seeds without becoming invasive.

Makes a nice color accent along the border of your landscaped beds, in full/partial sun.

It is long lived, which makes it good to use in landscaping.  Will work in coastal situations, until it gets a direct blast of salt air.

At right is yellowtop planted at the base of a jaboticaba in the landscaping at the nursery.

 

 

 


 

Philodendron 'Burle-Marx'  Philodendron sp. 'Burle Marx'

The first time I heard the name of this plant, I thought it was some plant-namer's prank, a made-up combination of names of famous comics.  It almost seemed appropriate for such an affable little creature.  Then I learned that it was called so after the renowned Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx, who found this plant in the Brazilian rainforest and brought it to the world's attention.

It's a tough, yet polite, little clumping philodendron (as opposed to a vining one) that generally does best when planted in protected locations, away from hot spots exposed to reflected light/heat.

In the photo below is a bed of philodendron Burle Marx, planted at the base of a Butea monosperma, with a vining philodendron (with an almost identical leaf) climbing up the trunk.

   

 

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Last updated:  12/20/2011