British Columbia: want to find a good ground cover flower

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Ilman, Dec 12, 2023.

  1. Ilman

    Ilman New Member

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    hello! hope everyone who sees this is having a good day.

    I want to grow a ground cover, one that is flowering and also preferably native to BC, victoria. the only ones that i know about (that could fit) are sweet alyssum, creeping thyme, and clover. neither are native though, and all of those have very invasive tendencies. i could grow them, but it would take so much time to dead head, and i do still want to save seeds, so if you guys have any picks that are native OR less invasive, and also very low to the ground, that would be great.
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Phlox subulata, common name creeping or mossy Phlox, has been mentioned on the forums. It's native to the eastern and central US, but is said to be be very hardy. Phlox subulata - Wikipedia.
     
  3. Ilman

    Ilman New Member

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    Looks very nice, but im still worried about the nativeness. where i live, the ecosystem is VERY fragile. if there arent any other plants i can do, then i'll pick between this and the others. thank you!
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    There are many native plants that work as groundcovers. It would be useful if you could tell whether you are looking for something that could be walked on, how big an area you want to cover, height, what the growing conditions are with regards to sun, shade, dry or moist.
    My favourite native groundcover is Linnaea borealis (Twinflower), which is very adaptable. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/r...:text=This is a creeping ground,end of 4-6 in.
     
  5. Ilman

    Ilman New Member

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    sorry, I should've given more information. it doesn't need to be walkable, the first area I'm putting it in gets full sun, and the other gets part sun, I need to cover 2-3 square meters in the first area and 1 square meter in the second, it needs to be very short, so maybe 6 inch height MAX, moist would be preferable but dry is ok, and needs to be able to grow in clay and sandy soil.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Is Mahonia aquifolium too tall for what you want I guess?
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What native creeping plants are you seeing growing in that fragile ecosystem already?
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Might Claytonia perfoliata and/or Claytonia sibirica (a.k.a. Montia perfoliata, Montia sibirica) work? Or Mimulus guttatus? Those are all invasive over here, from your part of the world...
     
  9. Ilman

    Ilman New Member

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    i would say oregon berries are a shrub/bush, but i do love them! so tasty!

    to be honest, i can't identify them. and when i do its usually the invasive, not native kind of morning glory, or this weird lily pad-like leaved vine.

    i would prefer something more vine like, and showy, but thats a solid option. also sorry to everyone if im being kind of picky
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2023
  10. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Have you considered western wild ginger? - Asarum caudatum.
    It prefers more shade but will tolerate sunnier areas if well watered. It can be evergreen and it will spread by underground rhizomes.
    I have several patches as it seems to pop up in areas but not so quickly that I can't control it.

    If you want something for more sun, there is the coastal or beach strawberry - Fragaria chiloensis - which ranges from from Alaska to south America. And I know this plant grows along the beaches of western Vancouver Island.
     
  11. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    I'm using Dianthus arenarius as a ground cover. It is not native in North America, but AFAIK it is not invasive too. Here it grows pretty slow and it is easy to control the spreading. It flowers pretty long, several months. There are white, blue and pink cultivars available.
     
  12. Ilman

    Ilman New Member

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    to everyone here: thank you for all your help! i've decided to get phlox subulata and irish moss. even though irish moss is not native, i do not think it will cause much trouble.

    edit: after some extra research, i found out that irish moss has invasive tendencies. i can dead head it, but it might be better if i just let it die out, and get some thymus from my local garden center (which is also where i got the irish moss)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2023
  13. DerekK

    DerekK Active Member

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    The link below has a good description of native plants as ground covers in the Victoria area.

    native-groundcovers
     
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