Groundcovers II

Maianthemum dilatatum – False Lily-of-the Valley is a native of the Pacific Northwest and forms a dense carpet of waxy heart-shaped green leaves. It is herbaceous in nature and features spikes of small starry white flowers from May to June followed by pale green berries speckled in reddish-brown (red at maturity). Grows 4-12″ high with an indefinite spread. Zone 5.

Ajuga reptans BLACK SCALLOP (syn. ‘Binblasca’) – A Proven Winners selection with glossy purplish-black veined leaves that form a dense mat. These are contrasted by 4-6″ high flower spikes of a brilliant violet-blue borne in May and June. It tolerates everything from light shade to full sun and is evergreen here in coastal BC. Great in containers. Grows 3-6″ high by 10-12″. Z4.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ‘Vancouver Jade’ – Bearberry or Kinnikinnick is a BC native, with ‘Vancouver Jade’ being introduced by the University of British Columbia. It features dark green spoon-shaped evergreen foliage and pale pink heather-like flowers (in early spring), followed by red berries. Best in full sun. Grows 4-6″ high by 12-24″ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

Omphalodes verna – Blue-Eyed Mary is a much underused semi-evergreen groundcover with elongated green heart-shaped leaves that form a dense mat. The May to June bright blue flowers (with a tiny white eye) are often mistaken for Forget-Me-Nots at a distance. It prefers shade to part sun and is a good choice under leggy rhododendrons. Grows 4-8″ high by 12″ wide. Zone 4.

Galium odoratum (syn. Asperula odorata) – Sweet Woodruff is a European native and bears whorls of green leaves (smells like hay when dried) that forms an aggressive groundcover. Tiny white star-shaped flowers are borne from late spring into summer. It is semi-evergreen in sheltered sites but best cut back in late winter. Part to full shade. Grows 4-6″ high by 12-24″ wide. Zone 3.

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