Green & Gold
A native groundcover that appears in May is Chrysogonum virginanum, Green & Gold. The genus name is derived from the Greek “chrys” meaning gold and “gon” meaning “offspring”, referencing the flowers. Green and Gold is a groundcover known for both its foliage and flowers.
The triangular leaves are tooth and light green, and the dark yellow, star-shaped flowers (with contrasting brown stamens) bloom well above the foliage. It spreads by rooting runners to form an attractive groundcover that is easy to control. The flowers appear abundantly in the spring and fall, but tend to die down in the heat of summer except in higher, cooler elevations. It can be grown in partial to dappled shade or in full shade. Ideally, Green and Gold should be planted where it gets both morning and afternoon sun. Chrysogonum prefers moist, rich, well drained organic soils, but will tolerate dryer conditions with protection from full sun.
A noteworthy characteristic of Green and Gold is that this variety is evergreen here in the mountains when we have mild winters. It is great in woodland gardens, native plant gardens, or naturalized areas. It makes a great edge for woodland paths and looks best when spent flowers are kept removed. Green and Gold is a moderately vigorous spreader when planted in shade and can help stabilize soils and provide cover for insects that feed small mammals, reptiles, and birds. It is drought tolerant and once established is rarely damaged by hungry deer.