Table 7.6: A guide to common types of Ground Covers in the Home Garden.
Native (N)
N = Native to Mid-Atlantic
Use
S = Shade,
F = Foundation,
Sp = Specimen,
H = Hedge,
Sc = Screen,
GC = Ground Cover
Flame Rating (FR)
H = Very Flammable
M = Moderate
L = Low
Scientific Name Common Name N Use FR Comments
Ajuga reptans Ajuga, Bugleweed GC L Not drought tolerant. Prefers light shade.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry, Kinnickinick N GC L Adapts to many growing conditions. Prefers well-drained soils.
Euonymus fortunei Wintergreen euonymus GC L Many forms exist, some vines. Best planted in sun. Prone to insect problems.
Gaultheria procumbens Wintergreen N GC L Good for woodland sites.
Hypericum calycinum St. Johnswort GC L Used in erosion control. Poisonous.
Juniperus conferta Shore juniper GC H Tolerates sandy soils. Requires good drainage, full sun.
Juniperus horizontalis Creeping juniper N GC H Grows in many soil types. Requires good drainage, full sun.
Juniperus procumbens Jap. garden juniper GC H Grows in many soil types. Requires good drainage, full sun.
Liriope muscari Bigblue liriope GC L Semi-tolerant of drought.
Liriope spicata Liriope GC L Excellent for erosion control, drought and salt tolerant. Grows under shallow rooted trees.
Ophiopogon japonicum Monkeygrass GC L Good for erosion control, drought tolerant. Prefers warm climates.
Opuntia spp. Prickly pear N GC L Native to arid regions, but very climate adaptable. Has spiny stems.
Pachysandra terminalis Pachysandra GC L Not tolerant to foot traffic or full sun conditions.
Rhus aromatica Fragrant sumac GC L Good for erosion control, tolerates drought.
Sarcococca hookerana var. humilis Sweetbox GC L Tolerates air pollution.
Sedum spp. Sedum GC L Drought tolerant & maintenance free.
Vinca minor Periwinkle; Vinca GC L Good for erosion control, finer texture than V. major. Prefers a shaded location.