Ground Covers for Rough Sites

Carex pensylvanica is native to much of the central and eastern U. S. and tolerates dry sites.


Ground Covers for Rough Sites


Meyer and Zins


An Extension fact sheet on ground covers for rough sites.

Learning goals for the item

To show the plants that can be grown in difficult or rough sites, along with their origin, and propagation and maintenance notes.

Appropriate audience

general public, landscape designers and architects, nursery and garden center employees, Master Gardeners

A list of references (key references - cited or suggested)


A list of credits (if appropriate)

just authors noted on the publication

Keywords (separate keywords or phrases with a comma)

difficult sites, plants for slopes,

Review Summary

Ground covers for rough sites is a brief fact sheet with recommendations for tough ground covers appropriate for northern climates (zones 3 and 4).  The fact sheet starts with grasses for sunny and shady sites.  Native grasses are discussed.  A table of herbaceous ground covers for low maintenance sites and a table or woody plants for low maintenance sites are included.  The table include common name, scientific name, height, tolerances of shade and drought, site preferences and outstanding features or comments.  Reviewers feel the usefulness of this publication is limited to northern audiences.  There are no graphics or photographs to illustrate the recommended plants, which limits usefulness to those already familiar with the plant or those willing to look the recommended plants up in another reference.  There are no references listed. 

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“Ground Covers for Rough Sites,” ASHS HortIM™, accessed July 16, 2019,


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.