Expert Tips

Going to Ground

Digby Growns is the Senior Plant Breeder at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Western Australia and one of the country’s leading native plant experts. Digby lives, breathes and speaks plant botany and is here to share some expert tips for your own Native Plant Project…

Digby’s Top 5 Ground Covers…

#1. Violacea hederacea – Native Violet

Excellent showy ground cover for shady places, or semi-shade – and will grow in most climatic zones, provided it gets adequate water through the year.  Has creeping stems which root as they spread.

#2. Chrysocephalum apiculatum ‘Silver & Gold’ – Clustered Everlastings

A hard working ground cover that can spread over one metre with its attractive grey/green foliage and bright yellow flowers for a large part of the year. Not only does it look striking but it will help suppress weeds as well as act as a natural mulch.  Tough, fast growing and drought tolerant.  Order from the e-nursery. 

#3 Disphyma crassifolium subsp. Clavellatum – Roundleaf Pigface

This is a succulent, evergreen shrub with crimson-purple flower that can grow in a range of soils. Use it as a groundcover but also in hanging baskets, informal edging, in crevices, for a spillover effect or on a slope to prevent soil erosion. It thrives in a sunny position and will flower year round.  Available at the e-nursery.

#4 Grevillea lanigera ‘Mt Tamboritha’

Try this grevillea variety if you need a mid green ground cover that’s both drought and frost tolerant.  From Winter to Spring you’ll enjoy their small pink flower. It’s best suited to cooler areas and dislikes humid conditions. Order at the e-nursery. 

#5 Scaevolea ‘Superclusters’ – Fan Flower

This vigorous, small leafed ground cover flowers all through the warmer months and can work well to create borders. It likes a sunny spot but can grow in light shade. Resilient and low maintenance, it makes a great plant for poolside, decks, patios and courtyards; try it in pots and hanging baskets too.  Order from the e-nursery. 

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IMG 8344chrysoephalum apiculatum silver gold 3

4 Scaevola ‘Super Clusters’
Grevillea lanigera Mt Tamboritha 11 Disphyma crassifolium subsp. clavellatum

Meet our Native Plant Project Expert ~

Digby Growns is the Senior Plant Breeder at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. He manages programs in the breeding and development of Anigozanthos, Boronia, Chamelaucium, Corymbia, Grevillea, Leptospermum and Scaevola.  He has worked for many years on the development of Australian native plants for horticulture and over 40 new varieties of native plants including the hybrid Chamelaucium ‘Pearlflower’ series and Grevillea ‘RSL Spirit of ANZAC’. He leads research into new technology developments in plant tissue culture, biotechnology and plant breeding. Digby shares his knowledge with Native Plant Project in a regular ‘Top 5 Picks”…