Golden Star: A Cheerful Ground Cover for Woodland Gardens

Chrysogonum virginianum, or “Golden star” to her friends, is a cheerful, hardworking garden assistant. This little 6” tall Maryland native plant prevents weeds—yes! prevents weeds!—by forming a dense mat of attractive gold-yellow blooms atop a nicely textured carpet of rich, green leaves.

I love to put this plant along pathways to keep other taller perennials from crowding the path. Golden star will creep up to the edge of the path and by covering the ground completely, usually within 1-2 years, keep away the weeds. Where you have planted Golden star you will usually only have to weed once, lightly, in the early spring, and that’s it.

The only requirement is to avoid compacted soil, hot areas, or overly wet areas. Golden Star (a.k.a Green-and-gold) thrives best in moist, well, drained acidic to neutral soil (up to a pH of about 6.8). It can take full sun, part sun, or all but the deepest of shade, although it blooms longest and spreads thickest in part sun with good moisture. Golden star will bloom profusely for a long time— April through June — and then if happy (and moist) will rebloom sporadically throughout the season.

Golden star is not a heavy-hitter in terms of known wildlife value, but it is a local native, and pairs well with Butterfly milkweed, which has oodles of wildlife value and will begin to bloom just as Golden star takes a well-earned rest, usually in June.