ground cover

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ground cover

a. dense low herbaceous plants and shrubs that grow over the surface of the ground, esp, in a forest, preventing soil erosion or, in a garden, stifling weeds
b. (as modifier): ground-cover plants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Ground cover

Low-growing plants often grown to keep soil from eroding and to discourage weeds.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ground Cover


in horticulture, low herbaceous and usually procumbent plants, 5–15 cm tall, with variously colored and patterned foliage, used to create ornamental patterns on the ground. Some ground covers consist of various species of Alternathera, Antennaria, Artemisia, Achyranthes, Helichrysum, Gnaphalium, Iresine, Coleus, Mesembryanthemum, Pelargonium, Pyrethrum, Santolina, Sedum, Sempervivum, Spergula, Stachys, Stellaria, Festuca, Cineraria, and Echeveria. Low flowering plants are also used, including lobelia, heliotrope, portulaca, ageratum, fuschia, and Begonia semperflorens.

The first step in creating ground cover is to draw an outline laying out how the plants of the desired colors are to be arranged. The cultivation of ground covers is labor intensive. The plants are propagated primarily by cuttings, which are rooted in green-houses in February and then transplanted into hotbeds. The care of ground covers includes watering, pruning and trimming, and regular weeding.

Because of changes in fashion in ornamental horticulture and the great expenditure of labor and materials, ground covers have lost their popularity and are seldom used. Gardens and parks are landscaped with groups of low spreading perennials which have brightly colored or patterned foliage and can survive the winter in the ground. Such perennials include arabis, aubrietia, speed-well, saxifrage, sedum, sempervivum; and species of Sagina.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ground cover

[′grau̇nd ‚kəv·ər]
Prostrate or low plants that cover the ground instead of grass.
All forest plants except trees.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ground cover

1. Low planting, often maintenance-free, used in masses.
2. A thin plastic sheet, or the like, spread over the ground in a crawl space to minimize moisture penetration.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
If ground cover is planted in bold drifts, the areas occupied become a feature themselves, enhance the appearance of shrubs and act as a living-mulch by conserving the moisture in the soil during drought.
Wintergreen is also excellent for providing ground cover in damp woodland or shady borders.
A There are several shade-tolerant ground cover plants such as ivy - use one with yellow leaves such as Gold Heart or Sulphur Heart to add a splash of colour - Waldsteinia ternata (which has yellow flowers) and Rubus tricolour, which will give you a good mat of cover.
Other relatively trouble-free ground cover plants include Ajuga reptans, astilbe, Calluna vulgaris, Erica carnea and Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'.
This blue-flowered ground cover has trailing stems that root wherever they touch the ground (useful on banks).
No scientific publications were found concerning tall fescue response to glyphosate in terms of objectively measured ground cover, which is needed to estimate erosion control using software, such as revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) (Renard et al.
On 1 June 1994 and 1995, the percentage clover ground cover in the first year after seeding (regeneration year) was estimated.
"If they can find a way to regenerate wiregrass faster than we've been able to do it in the past," Reed Noss said, "then we can get a natural ground cover back into some of these stands that we've pretty much given up on--ones that have been site-prepared or are old-field succession--where the whole area has been plowed and put into crops and you've lost virtually all the wiregrass."
Do surrounding plants need a ground cover with contrasting texture or foliage color?
THE ground cover plant could never be called the most glamorous of garden species.
An alternative is permanent ground cover plants using slow-growing spreading species needing minimum maintenance.
Bergenia is great for ground cover and will spread rapidly in a suitable setting.

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