Native Evergreen Groundcover for under pines


I was thinking of planting either bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) or American Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) in the mulched/improved area underneath some pines. The area is shaded, but not densely so. A thin coating of good soil over dense clay or pure sand. One of the possible locations gets a lot of wind and occasionally salt.

Which of these plants would work better? Any other suggestions as to native ground covers that are evergreen or have berries? (I define native broadly...anything from Zone 6 of the East Coast of the United States would do.) Has to be low maintenance as it would get little aftercare.

Comments (2)
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Wintergreen would do better in the shade, though it is a slow grower. Bearberry likes sun I believe. You might also try partridgeberry. One that I've considered but haven't tried is Pachysandra procumbens. Locating a source might take some searching. For wind and salt tolerance the low growing juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) would be a good choice provided it gets enough sun. It's requirements are similar to bearberry.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Ed, another one you might try to work with is Cornus canadensis-bunchberry. If you're not familiar with this one, don't let the Cornus part fool you-this is a very low-growing groundcover type of dogwood, and quite beautiful to boot.

I'm not 100% sure of its being evergreen. I've seen this thing all my life but for whatever reason, that aspect escapes me. I suppose it's generally covered with snow in these parts-to say the very least this year!

Has nice bright red fruit as well.

Another one I thought of is Lycopodium-"ground pine". There are a number of species of this grouping of club mosses. Evergreen but non-fruiting of course, being a non-flowering plant. Nice to look at but I'm not sure of availability.


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