Common Name
Scientific Name
Hardiness Zone
Groupb
Growth Ratec
Exposure
Form
Texture
Landscape Remarks
Ardisia, Chirimen Ardisia japonica 'Chirimen' 7b, 8 E Moderate Shade Mat spreader Medium 'Chirimen' is a JC Raulston Arboretum Selection; nonaggressive spreader; pink and white flowers in spring; red berries in winter; height 2 to 6".
Ajuga Ajuga reptans 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Partial shade to shade Compact, dense mat Medium to coarse Excellent for moist areas; blue-violet flowers in spring; recommended cultivars include: Bronze Beauty, Burgundy Glow, Rubra.
Azalea, Dwarf Indica (Gumpo) Rhododendron eriocarpum 6, 7, 8 E Slow  to moderate Partial shade Fine Rounded Height 1 to 2'; late flowering; white or pink flowers.
Bishops weed, Variegated Aegopodium podograria 'Variegatum' 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Partial shade to shade Spreading Medium Green and white foliage; 8 to 10" height; white flowers in late spring-early summer; can become invasive.
Candytuft, Evergreen Iberis sempervirens 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Mounds Fine White flowers March-May; good for accent areas.
Carex Carex spp. 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade to shade Most cultivars form clumps; a few spread Fine Prefers moist soil; height 6 to 18"; yellow or white variegated narrow leaves.
Cast iron plant Aspidistra elatior 7, 8 E Slow Shade Upright clumps Coarse Good specimen planting for dense shade.
Cotoneaster, Bearberry Cotoneaster dammeri 6, 7, 8 E Slow Sun to partial shade Prostrate Fine Effective in rock gardens and low banks.
Cotoneaster, Rockspray Cotoneaster horizontalis 6, 7, 8 Semi-E Slow Sun to partial shade Spreading branches Fine Handsome foliage and fruits; used in rock gardens.
Cotoneaster, Willowleaf Cotoneaster salicifolius 'Repens' 6, 7, 8 E to semi-E Moderate Sun Spreading Fine Foliage becomes purplish-red in winter; cultivars: 'Scarlet Leader' (2 to 3' tall and 6 to 8' wide), 'Gnom' (8 to 12" tall), 'Autumn Fire' (2 to 3' tall), 'Emerald Carpet' is more dense.
Cypress, Siberian carpet grass; Russian arborvitae Microbiota decussata 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to partial shade Arching branches; flat topped Fine Tolerates dry soil; height 1 to 2'; foliage turns bronze in winter when grown in sun.
Daylily Hemerocallis hybrida 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Sun Herbaceous perennial Medium to coarse Excellent for banks and slopes.
Epimedium Epimedium spp. 6, 7, 8 D Varies with spp. Partial shade Herbaceous perennial Medium Height 8 to 10"; pink, red, or white flowers in May and June.
Euonymus, Wintercreeper Euonymus fortunei 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to shade Vinelike Medium Excellent ground cover; recommended cultivars: Silver Queen (24"), Kewensis (2"), Colorata (18").
Fescue, Blue Festuca ovina glauca 6, 7, 8 E Moderate to rapid Sun to partial shade Singular dense clumps Fine Blue-green color.
Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia 6, 7, 8 D Moderate Partial shade to shade Compact Medium White flowers in mid-spring; prefers a moist site with high organic matter.
Genista; Broom Genista tinctoria, G. pilosa, G. sagittalis 6, 7, 8 D Slow Sun Low shrub Medium to fine Yellow flowers in June; will tolerate poor, dry soil; height .5 to 2' (varies with cultivar).
Gardenia Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans' 7b, 8 E Rapid to moderate Sun to partial shade Horizontal branching; open; spreading Medium to fine White flowers in May-June; height 1 to 2'; spread 2 to 3'; not cold hardy in most of the state.
Geranium, Cranesbill Geranium sanguineum 6, 7, 8 D Moderate Partial shade to shade Herbacious perennial Medium Height 12 to 18"; reddish-purple to pale pink flowers.
Germander Teucrium chamaedrys 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to partial shade Spreading mounds Medium to fine Red-rose flowers in summer; height rarely exceeds 10".
Ginger, Wild Asarum spp. 6, 7 E Slow Partial shade to shade Low clump Medium Unusual flowers; thrives in moist wooded sites.
Grass, Japanese blood Imperarata cylindrica ruba 6, 7, 8 D Moderate Sun to light shade Upright clumps; open habit Fine Perennial; height 12"; leaves deep red, green at base; Red Baron is best cultivar.
Grass, Fountain Pennisetum alopecuroides 6, 7, 8 D Moderate Sun Slender stem Fine Height 24 to 36"; bright green leaves; silver flower cluster.
Grass, Ribbon Phalaris arundarinacea 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Sun to partial shade Upright Fine Herbaceous perennial; green and white leaves; moisture tolerant; can be invasive.
Gold-moss; Stonecrop Sedum acre 6, 7, 8 D Moderate to rapid Sun to partial shade Low; thick stems Medium to fine Excellent for rock gardens; will not tolerate foot traffic; many other species available.
Green and gold Chrysogonum virginianum 6, 7, 8 Semi-E Moderate to rapid Sun to partial shade Herbaceous perennial Medium Height 6 to 9"; yellow flowers in spring, sporadically in summer; needs well-drained soil.
Honeysuckle, Trumpet Lonicera sempervirens 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to partial shade Twining vine Medium Excellent for natural, low-maintenance areas.
Hosta Hosta spp. 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Partail shade to shade Clumps Coarse Useful as border plant.
Ivy, Algerian Hedera canariensis 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade to shade Climbing vine Coarse Wider leaf than English ivy.
Ivy, Colchis Hedera colchica 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade to shade Climbing vine Coarse Heart-shaped leaves.
Ivy, English Hedera helix 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade to shade Climbing vine Medium to coarse Excellent ground cover, but aggressive once established.
Jasmine, Asiatic Trachelospermum asiaticum 7b, 8 E Moderate Sun to partial shade Spreading vine Fine Can be damaged by cold in severe winters.
Jasmine, Carolina Gelsemium sempervirens 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to shade Twining vine Fine Yellow flowers in spring; best in full sun; once established grows rapidly.
Juniper, Andorra Juniperous horizontalis 'Andorra' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate to rapid Sun Ascending branches Fine Light green foliage; tinged purple in winter; height 18".
Juniper, Bar Harbor Juniperous horizontalis 'Bar Harbor' 6, 7, 8 E Slow Sun Flat branching Fine Gray-green foliage; not too dense; feathery; winter color is silvery plum; height 8 to 12".
Juniper, Blue Chip Juniperous horizontalis 'Blue Chip' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low; mounding Fine Silver-blue foliage; height 8"; spreads 2'.
Juniper, Blue Pacific Juniperous conferta 'Blue Pacific' 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun Low; spreading Fine Does not like wet feet; blue-green color; spreads to 10'; height 10".
Juniper, Blue Rug Juniperous horizontalis 'Blue Rug' 6, 7, 8 E Slow to moderate Sun Trailing; creeping Fine Lowest and possibly slowest juniper; dense silver-blue foliage; height 4 to 6".
Juniper, Japanese Juniperous procumbens 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low, prostrate; branches ascending Fine Height 18 to 30"; blue-green foliage; remains green in winter; Nana is a dwarf cultivar: height 18".
Juniper, Parson's Juniperous chinensis 'Parsonii' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Upright Fine Height 2 to 3'.
Juniper, Plumosa Compacta Juniperous horizontalis 'Plumosa Compacta' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Spreading; upright Fine Blue-green foliage that turns purple in winter; height 1 to 2'.
Juniper, San Jose Juniperous chinensis 'San Jose' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Spreading; upward-reaching branches Fine Height 12"; spreads 6'; sage green color.
Juniper, Shore Juniperus conferta 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to partial shade Spreading; very dense Fine Creates dense mat when planted too close; plant 6' on center; height 18'; not the best juniper.
Juniper, Sargent Juniperus chinensis 'Sargentii' 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low; spreading Fine Procumbent stems; withstands heat and salt; height 18"; spreads 8 to 10'.
Lamb's ear Stachys byzantina 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low; spreading Fine to medium 'Silver Carpet' does not flower but forms a dense mat.
Lamium; Dead nettle Lamium spp. 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Partial shade to shade Low; spreading to upright Medium Fast growing; variegated foliage; height 6 to 12 "; cultivars: Variegatum, White Nancy, Herman's Pride, Beacon Silver, Album, Shell Pink.
Laurentia Laurentia fluviatilis 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade Low; spreading Fine Tiny green leaves; blue flowers in spring; prefers a moist site.
Lavender cotton Santolina chamaecyparissus 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low-spreading mounds Fine Aromatic, silver foliage; good in small areas; needs excellent drainage.
Lenten rose Helleborus orientalis 6, 7 E Slow Shade Erect clumps Coarse Winter flowers; strong texture.
Liriope Liriope muscaria 6, 7, 8 E Moderate to rapid Partial shade to shade Grasslike clumps Medium Varigated cultivar is very popular.
Liriope, Creeping Liriope spicata 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Partial shade to shade Grasslike, spreading clumps Fine Very tolerant of adverse conditions; can be invasive.
Mahonia, Creeping Mahonia repens 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to shade Stiff branches Coarse Spreads by underground stems; yellow flowers; height 10".
Mondo grass Ophiopogon japonicus 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to shade Grasslike clumps or mounds Fine Finer texture than liriope.
Mondo grass, Black Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Arabicus' 7, 8 E Slow Partial shade to shade Grasslike clumps Fine Height 6 to 10"; purple-black leaves; flowers pink or purple-black.
Mondo grass, Dwarf Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' 7, 8 E Slow Sun to shade Grasslike Fine Height 2 to 3".
Pachysandra Pachysandra terminalis 6, 7 E Slow to moderate Partial shade to shade Forms dense mat Medium Spreads by underground stolons.
Periwinkle Vinca minor 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Partial shade to shade Non-climbing dense mat Medium Excellent for large natural areas; flowers in spring.
Periwinkle, Big leaf Vinca major 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Partial shade to shade Dense mat Medium Upright and more open than Vinca minor; flowers in spring.
Phlox, Creeping Phlox stolonifera 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Partial shade to shade Low mat Medium White, pink, purple to violet flowers in spring summer; height 3".
Pinks; Dianthus Dianthus plumarius 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Mat forming Fine Fragrant flowers in May-July.
Pussytoes Antennaria spp. 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to shade Dense mat Medium Silver foliage 2" tall; flower stems to 10".
Rose, Petite Pink Scotch Rosa x 'Petite Pink' 6, 7, 8 D Rapid Sun Mounding Fine A JC Raulston Arboretum Selection; drought tolerant; light pink minature flowers in May; height 2 to 3'.
Rose, Memorial Rosa wichuraiana 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun Trailing vine Medium Height 1'; vigorous vine; white flowers; does not produce a solid cover.
Sandwort, Moss Minuartia verna ssp. caespitosa 6, 7 Moderate Sun to partial shade Prostrate Fine White flowers in spring; height 3"; shallow roots (drought sensitive).
Santolina, Green Santolina virens 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Dense mounds Fine Aromatic, green foliage; useful in rock gardens, planters.
Sarcococca Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Partial shade to shade Loose; informal Medium Useful in groups as filler, background; height 12 to 24".
Sedum; Stonecrop Sedum spp. 6, 7, 8 Semi-E, D Slow Sun to partial shade Low-growing mat Medium to fine Height 3 to 18".
Snakebeard Ophiopogon jaburan vittata 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to shade Grasslike clumps Medium Height 8 to 12".
St. John's wort Hypericum calycinum 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun to partial shade Low-spreading Medium Excellent for extreme slopes or sandy soils; yellow flowers in spring and summer.
Strawberry Fragaria ananassa 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun Medium-dense clumps with runners Medium Very functional plant; flowers in spring followed by edible fruit.
Thrift, Common; Sea pink Armeria martima 6, 7, 8 E Slow Sun Tufts or clumps; rounded mat Fine Pink or white flowers on scapes in spring.
Thrift; Moss pink Phlox subulata 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Dense, creeping carpet Fine Excellent for spring color; many cultivars.
Thyme, Creeping Thymus serpyllum 6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun Low, dense mat Fine Purple flowers; rarely exceeds 3" in height; foliage has pleasant fragrance when crushed.
Verbena, Perennial Verbena canadensis, V. tenera, V. hybrids 6, 7, 8; varies with cultivar D, Semi E Varies Sun Low growing Fine Many cultivars; some cultivars flower spring to frost; height 4 to 12".
Veronica Veronica
peduncularis
, V. officinalis
6, 7, 8 E Moderate Sun to partial shade Low-growing mat Fine Height 4 to 12"; blue flowers; will grow in many soil types.
Yarrow, Wooly Achillea tomentosa 6, 7, 8 E Rapid Sun Low-growing mat Fine Can be invasive; yellow flowers; height 6 to 10".

a Many perennials, some shrubs, and vines can be used as ground covers depending on the height desired
b E = Evergreen, D = Deciduous
c Growth rate will vary with weather conditions, cultivar, and site preparation