FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Chrysogonum virginianum is a low growing native perennial with starry golden daisy-like flowers. This diminutive beauty has pubescent oval shaped gray-green or medium green leaves. Blooms are borne in great numbers in late spring and sporadically after. Plants thrive in moist well drained soils in part sun or part shade. This is a great native groundcover with semi-evergreen foliage and a long blooming period.
HABITAT & HARDINESS: Chrysogonum virginianum is native to the eastern United States from New York to Florida and Louisiana.
Plants are indigenous to mesic to dry woodlands and open rocky woodlands. This species is more likely to be found in forest edges and clearings with bright filtered light rather than in densely shaded interiors.
Plants are hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Chrysogonum virginianum is a mat forming perennial wildflower. Plants are low growing and usually rhizomatous.
Foliage is semi-evergreen unless winter temperatures are extreme. Leaves are oblong or ovate and 1-3” long. Blades are pubescent with blunt teeth and long stalks.
In late spring plants bear clusters of cheerful yellow daisies. The flowers are star shaped with notched rays and a dense golden disc. They are produced in the leaf axils and held above the low foliage.
In the northern part of the range, plants have a longer blooming period – from spring to fall. Further south in areas with hot summers, plants produce abundant spring flowers then blossom sporadically or not at all during summer and autumn.
Plants grow from 3-4” tall and up to 8-10” in bloom with an 18” spread.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Chrysogonum virginianum is easy to grow as long as plants have part sun, light shade and rich well drained soil.
Plants tolerate drought and are resistant to pests. They may suffer from fungus diseases if soil is poorly drained or mulch is too thick.
This groundcover may need occasional irrigation during drought if located in exposures with afternoon sun. Plants will tolerate clay soils if they are amended with organic matter to improve drainage.
Flowers provide nectar to pollinators but plants are unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.
LANDSCAPE USES: Chrysogonum virginianum is used most often as a Groundcover or Accent for Shade Gardens. In residential sites, small Groups of plants can be used as a Border for shaded paths. Plants provide Showy Blooms and Winter Interest and are useful as a Butterfly Nectar Plant or as part of a Mass Planting. They are valuable components of Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Perennial Borders, Rock Gardens and Wildlife Gardens.
COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: At woodland’s edge, Chrysogonum virginianum mingles well with Carex flaccosperma, Heuchera villosa, Iris cristata, Polystichum acrostichoides, Solidago caesia and Spigelia marilandica.
Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’ is another almost evergreen mat forming perennial that could be substituted if needed. The cultivars Chrysogonum virginianum ‘Allen Bush’ or C. virginianum ‘Superstar’ would also be worthy substitutes.
TRIVIA: This groundcover blooms for a longer time and tolerates more sun in cooler northern zones. Further south, bloom time is shorter and afternoon shade is a necessity.
For more information on this plant, visit the USDA PLANTS Database: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHVI5