Oenothera caespitosa

Tufted Evening Primrose

This Primrose blooms in the late afternoon and evening hours, so locate it near outdoor living areas or entries where it can be enjoyed. Flowers are fragrant, and can reach up to 4 inches across. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Oenothera macrocarpa

Missouri Evening Primrose

Missouri Evening Primrose produces large, 4-inch flowers that are pure yellow. Flowers last only one day, but because flowering is so profuse it is hard to notice. Accepting of tough conditions. Better with afternoon shade in hottest climates. Canopy coverage: 3 square feet.

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Oenothera stubbei

Saltillo Primrose

This is a colorful, fast-growing groundcover with a clumping growth habit. The fragrant yellow flowers open in late afternoon until the following morning. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Origanum vulgare

Common Oregano

Common Oregano, also known as Wild Marjoram, is variable regarding leaf scent and culinary flavor. Color comes from flowers as well as bracts, which are modified leaves that surround flowers. Spreads and reseeds on its own. May die down with winter cold but comes back from the roots. Useful in cooking. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Osteospermum 'Avalanche'

African Daisy, Sun Daisy

Large, 3-inch, pure white, daisy flowers are profuse on this perennial groundcover for months beginning in spring. Accepts a range of soils, even clay soil. A Plant Select plant. Canopy coverage: 3 square feet.

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Physostegia virginiana

Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead

"Vigorous" is a word often used to describe Obedient Plant. It spreads by rhizomes—underground or soil surface stems—and can be highly invasive. Flowers resemble those of Snapdragon and are excellent for cutting to enjoy indoors. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Plumbago scandens

White Desert Plumbago

White Desert Plumbago is a sprawling shrub or groundcover that prefers some afternoon shade in hot-summer regions. Flowers are white and profuse in summer, lending a cooling effect. Canopy coverage: 13 square feet. Photo courtesy Mountain States Wholesale Nursery.

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Psilostrophe cooperi


Paperflower has a rounded growth habit. It works well planted among boulders or rock gardens. Plant where it will receive afternoon shade in hottest regions. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Pyracantha crenatoserrata


Pyracantha is a triple-threat shrub, with attractive evergreen leaves, clusters of white spring flowers, and long-lasting orange-red berries in fall and winter. Be aware of its large thorns, which can serve nicely as a security barrier; avoid locating near traffic areas. Canopy coverage: 79 square feet.

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Pyracantha koidzumii 'Santa Cruz'

Pyracantha, Firethorn

This Pyracantha grows as a shrubby groundcover form that can be pruned to control height as needed. Red berries are profuse and attract birds. Sturdy thorns make it a good barrier plant; handle and prune with caution. Canopy coverage 13 square feet.

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Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus'

Prostrate Rosemary

The aromatic, needlelike leaves of Rosemary deter rabbits. Tough growing groundcover for slopes or allow to drape over ledges. Look for selections 'Huntington Carpet' and 'Collingwood Ingram'. Canopy coverage: 50 square feet.

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Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie'

Dwarf Ruellia, Desert Petunia

Katie' is a robust bloomer during the warm season. It works well as a small-area groundcover, growing to 12 inches high. Canopy coverage: 1 square foot.

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Salvia officinalis

Garden Sage, Common Sage

Garden Sage is often grown in the herb garden for its ornamental as well as its culinary attributes. 'Aurea' and 'Tricolor' are popular selections. It is common to replace plantings after a few years due to their woody growth. Must have well drained soil. Canopy coverage: 3 square feet.

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Santolina chamaecyparis

Lavender Cotton

Lavender Cotton is a reliable small shrub or groundcover that lends its silvery gray leaves as bright contrast to green-foliaged plants. Its leaves are aromatic. Plantings are easy to control; keep neat by trimming away spent flower stems. Canopy coverage: 13 square feet.

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Santolina virens

Green Santolina

Presents a refined form with clusters of bright yellow button-shaped flowers. Also makes an excellent groundcover. Often combined with Lavender Cotton. Canopy coverage: 28 square feet.

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Saponaria ocymoides

Rock Soapwort

Rock Soapwort is a candidate for the rock garden, spreading groundcover or spiller over the edge of a container or ledge. Masses of small pink flowers bloom late spring into summer. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Sedum x rubrotinctum

Pork and Beans

Interesting little plant, with teardrop-shaped, succulent leaves about 3/4 inch long described as looking like pork and beans or jellybeans. Grows to about 8 inches high. Use in containers or for a small-scale groundcover. Easy to propagate. Plants in sun turn more bronze color but avoid locations in full sun in desert regions. Provide well-draining soil and reduce water in summer. Canopy coverage: 1 square foot.

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Sempervivum species

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum is a collection of succulents that work well as small-space groundcovers, in containers or tucked between rocks and boulders. Many species and selections are available in a range of sizes and leaf colors. It is important to plant in soil with good drainage and don't overwater. Canopy coverage: 1 square foot.

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Senecio mandraliscae

Kleinia, Blue Finger

The common name Blue Finger is a great hint as to this plant's appearance. Long, fingerlike stems are slightly curved. Useful as a groundcover or accent planting. Provide afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Canopy coverage: 3 square feet.

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Stachys byzantina

Lamb's Ears

The fuzzy, silvery gray leaves of Lamb's Ears makes it a great choice to contrast with dark foliage plants. Better with afternoon shade in hot-summer climates. Spreads by runners. Selection 'Silver Carpet' does not produce flowers. Canopy coverage: 7 square feet.

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Stachys coccinea

Scarlet Betony, Texas Betony

Leaves of Scarlet Betony grow to 3 inches long and have a wrinkled appearance. Clumping growth habit. Canopy coverage: 3 square feet.

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