Bear Grass (Nolina erumpens) (back)

This plant form clumps or tufts of grasslike leaves and bear white or lavender flowers in spikelike or branched clusters. Use as casual ground cover in small areas. Also attractive as borders along paths, between flower bed and lawn, among rock groupings, or in rock gardens.

2'/ Sun/ evergreen / similar to liriope but coarser / drought tolerant / ground cover.

Bermuda Grass (cynodon Dactylon) (back)

Subtropical fine-textured grass that spreads rapidly by surface and underground runners. Tolerates heat, and looks good if well maintained. It turns brown in winter; Some varieties stay green longer than others, and most stay green longer if well fed. Bermuda grass can be overseeded with cool-season grasses or dyed green for winter color. Needs sun and should be cut low; 1/2 in. is desirable. Needs thatching— removal of matted layer of old stems and stolons beneath the leaves— to look its best.

Needs less water than most lawn grasses/ Spring seed.

Calylophus (Calylophus hartwegii)(back)

An evening primrose look-alike, this perennial grows 8 in. tall, 2 ft. across, and spreads by underground rhizomes. Yellow 1 in. flowers appear over a long season. Plants are dormant in winter, when stems may be cut back.

Sun-Partial / Drought tolerant/ groundcover.

Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) (back)

Vigorous, spreading plants of the mint family. Common names for this species relate to the attraction the plants have for domestic cats. N. Faassenii makes soft, gray-green, undulating mounds to 2 ft. high. Leaves aromatic and (like catnip) attractive to cats, who enjoy rolling in plantings. Lavender-blue, 1/2 in. flowers in loose spikes make display in early summer. If dead spikes prove unsightly, shear them back; this may bring on another bloom cycle. Set 1—1 1/2 ft. apart for ground cover. Usually sold as N. Mussinii

Chameleon (Houttuynia cordata) (back)

Underground rhizomes send up 2- 3 in. leaves that look much like those of English ivy, have odd scent of orange peel when crushed. Inconspicuous clusters of white- bracted flowers like tiny dogwood blossoms. Disappears completely in winter. Unusual ground cover. Can spread aggressively in wet ground. 'Variegata' has showy splashes of cream, pink yellow, and red on foliage, is attractive in container or (curbed) in shady garden.

Full Sun near coast/Shade inland/ Rapid speader by creeping underground stems/ Heart shaped foliage with 'Joseph's Coat' coloring / Tiny white flowers / Good container plant in ponds / Bog plant / Groundcover.

Chamomile (Chamaemuelum nobile) (back)

Forms soft-textured, spreading, 3 - 12 in. mat of bright light green, finely cut, aromatic leaves. Most commonly grown form has small yellow buttons of summer-blooming flower heads; some forms have little daisylike flower heads. Makes lawn substitute if mowed or sheared occasionally. ; 'Treneague' is a nonflowering variety that needs no mowing. Also used between stepping stones. Plant divisions 1 ft. apart. Chamomile tea is made from dried flower heads, but sweeter, more flavorful tea comes from flowers of Matricaria recutita.

Sun/-Partial / Evergreen / Mat of aromatic light green leaves / Flowers resemble small yellow buttons / Fragrant groundcover.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum pacificum) (back)

There are about 160 species of chrysanthemum, mostly native to China, Japan, and Europe. Semitrailing, semishrubby perennial with stems to 2- 3 ft., densely clad in lobed dark green leaves apparently edged white (woolly white undersides show at edges). Late in the year broad clusters of yellow flowers appear; lacking rays, they resemble clustered brass buttons. Used as a bank or ground cover or at the front of the perennial border. A tough plant, but without regular summer water lower leaves will die off. Cut back to new growth after bloom.

Sun/ Evergreen/ Well-drained soil / Not invasive / Leaves form 4" rosettes / Clusters of yellow flowers / groundcover.

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) (back)

Three of these four vigorous perennials spread and should be policed as necessary lest they take over too much territory. L. nummularia. Moneywort, Creeping Jenny. Zones 1- 9, 14-24. Evergreen creeping plant with long runners (to 2 ft.) that root at joints. Forms pretty light green mat of roundish leaves. Flowers about 1 in. across, yellow, form singly in leaf joints. Summer blooming. Best use is in corners where it need not be restrained. Will spill from wall, hanging baskets. Good ground cover (plant 1- 1 1/2 ft. apart near streams 'Aurea' has yellow leaves, needs shade.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) (back)

Moss Pink. perennial. Zones 1-17. Stiffish, 1/2-in., needlelike, evergreen leaves on creeping stems; forms mats to 6 in. tall. The 3/4- in. flowers range in color from white through pink to rose and lavender blue. 'Can Stripe' has white-and-pink striped flowers. Late spring or early summer bloom, according to climate. Makes sheets of brilliant color in rock gardens. Ground cover. Grow in loose, not-too-rich soil. After flowering, cut back halfway.

Well-Drained soil/ Cannot tolerate wet areas/ Tip pruning encourages fullness/ Creeping stems root where they make contact with soil.