Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program

Ground Covers

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Golden Sweetflag grassAcorus gramineus 'Ogon' & 'Minimus Aureus'

  • Category Ground Cover
  • Winner for 2013
  • Hardiness Zone 5 to 11
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

Acorus is best known as a groundcover, but also very useful in container planting. Try combining it with it bright purple pansies, parsley, kale and an azalea for winter or with Torenia and autumn fern in summer.

Golden sweetflag is evergreen, but the foliage can look tired by the end of winter. You may want to cut back sweetflag before the new flush of growth in spring. Sweetflag thrives on the edge of a pond or stream or in a boggy site and spreads to create a groundcover. Dividing your plants every three years or so will enable you to enlarge your groundcover planting or share with friends. The golden foliage works well for brightening dark areas, contrasting with rich green or burgundy foliage, or filling between stepping stones. When crushed there is a pleasant scent which helps to make this plant deer resistant.

Angelina StonecropSedum rupestre

  • Category Ground Cover
  • Winner for 2010
  • Hardiness Zone 3 to 11
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

Growing just 6 inches tall and spreading 2 to 3 feet, Angelina Stonecrop is a tough, vigorous groundcover that does well in the front of dry, sunny landscape beds. It looks particularly nice in rock gardens or along the edges of containers where it can spill over the sides.

The succulent colorful foliage combines well with plants having dark contrasting foliage, like purple passion, ajuga, black mondograss or purple fountain grass. Flowers arise on short stems above the foliage from June to July. They are a nectar source for hoverflies, whose larvae feed on aphids.In addition to bright yellow flowers in summer, Angelina Stonecrop has colorful foliage that changes with the seasons. It is chartreuse in spring, bright golden-yellow in summer, and orange-red in fall.

Creeping RaspberryRubus pentalobus syn. R. calycinoides

  • Category Ground Cover
  • Winner for 2005
  • Hardiness Zone 7 to 9
  • Conditions Full to Part Sun

Creeping Raspberry is a fast-growing, evergreen ground cover imported from Taiwan. It grows 3 to 6 inches and spreads 3 to 6 feet in all directions. As the name implies, Creeping Raspberry creeps along the ground by forming runners – much like strawberries – which root at their nodes and establish new colonies. Although it is aggressive, Creeping Raspberry is not invasive. It doesn’t climb trees or smother nearby shrubs, and it can readily be controlled with mechanical edging.

Creeping Raspberry has coarse-textured leaves with deep veins that make them appear puckered. During spring and summer, the leaves are shiny, dark green above and gray-green below. They turn burgundy in fall and winter. White flowers are borne in mid-summer, but they are lost in the foliage and not very showy. The flowers are followed by tiny, raspberry-like fruit in late summer. Although the fruit are tasty and edible, they are tiny, so don’t expect an abundant harvest for your breakfast table. Fruiting is not one of the plant’s outstanding attributes.

What is Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program (GGMP)?

The Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program promotes the use of superior ornamental plants in Georgia.

It represents the combined effort of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia; the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension; University faculty members; and nurserymen, flower growers, garden retailers and landscape professionals across the state.

Winners are chosen from five categories: Natives, Annuals, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs and Vines and Groundcovers.

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Tell us what plants you would like to nominate for the Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program.