Native Groundcover For Wet Areas

Oct 13, 2018 | Love This!

Name: Chrysogonum virginianum ~ aka goldenstar, or green and gold

Type of Plant: Low growing perennial for part shade to full shade that flowers heavily in May and sporadically through the rest of the summer.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love Chrysogonum because it’s adaptable, and will grow in areas that flood occasionally but occasionally dry out. It forms a weed smothering mat about four inches tall. This is a plant that is perfect for under shrubs and in rain gardens. It spreads by rhizomes but isn’t overly aggressive.

A Word to the Wise: Although this plant will tolerate full sun, it isn’t for hot, sunny places that are dry. If you have a sunny area that remains moist it will do well, but it’s probably best suited for part-shade gardens.

Chrysogonum is a lovely plant to give taller perennials and shrubs some “socks and shoes.” Here it is with my Juncus effusus (dark green rush) and the variegated red twig dogwood in my rain garden.

There aren’t many plants that will tolerate being submerged under water for periods of time, but can also go for a couple of weeks with no water at all. This is one of them!

Other plants in my rain garden include several winterberry hollies, primrose, and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). On the drier edges the Rudbeckia triloba, daylilies and Verbascum mingle.



  1. Janet M Logan

    This ground cover could be perfect for my rain garden!!! I already have winterberry holly and red twig dogwood there. Can I buy this at Country Garden? Is it too late to plant?

    • CL Fornari

      It is perfect for your rain garden! I don’t think that Country Garden has it now. It’s not too late to plant it if you can find it, but since it’s primarily an early summer bloomer it’s likely that you’ll need to wait for next year to find it in local garden centers. If you want to be sure to find it at Country Garden, call Tracy Monroe in April and tell her how many you want.

      • Janet M Logan

        Thank you CL. I will wait until spring then. SO pretty in your pictures!

  2. jason p

    I have golden star in my flower beds For some reason, I have some that dry out and die all of the sudden. What is happening? The soil moisture is the same for all of the plants but part of the up and die out of the blue.

    • CL Fornari

      Without being there to see your plants and brainstorm, it’s impossible for me to guess. But when I have some plants die and not others, I ask myself what’s different about that spot not what’s the same.


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