En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 07, 2014

From: Aliquippa , PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Erosion Control for a Shaded Slope in Aliquippa PA
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What plants. shrubs or trees can I plant to retard soil erosion on a steep shaded hillside in PA

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants has found a few similar requests for help with erosion control for a steep slope in Pennsylvania.  As a general statement, we recommend clumping grasses and shrubs with extended root systems.  You will see that as a trend in the following question/answer pairs:

Plants for steep slope in Pittsburgh PA  

Ground cover for a bank in PA 

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA 

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania 

Deer-resistant plants for a steep hillside in Allison Park PA 

Native plants for erosion control in sun in Canton PA

Reviewing the information in these, here are a few suggestions for suitable grasses and shrubs. I've also taken note of their sunlight requirements.

 

Grasses

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)  partial shade

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)  partial or full shade

Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)  partial shade

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)  partial shade

Elymus canadensis (Canada wild rye)  Partial shade

Seven others are mentioned in the referenced discussions.

 

SHRUBS/HERBS

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)  partial shade

Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox)  partial shade

Amelanchier stolonifera (Running serviceberry)  sun, partial shade or shade

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)  partial shade, shade

Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox)  partial shade, shade

Six more are recommended as before.  Take note of the methods and reasoning in those discussions.

 

From the Image Gallery


Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Running serviceberry
Amelanchier stolonifera

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

More Shrubs Questions

Large shrub or tree for front door in Houston
January 16, 2013 - I am in search of a shrub or tree to plant next to my front door. I want a showy medium sized shrub or tree (8 to 12 ft), decorative, and a privacy screen since my front door faces my next door neig...
view the full question and answer

Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
December 21, 2012 - I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

Leaves turning yellow on Banana Shrub in Eutaw. AL
July 28, 2013 - We have a very large (about 12' tall), very old (probably planted in the early 1900s) Banana Shrub in our front yard. It was very healthy until last year when its leaves began turning yellow and fal...
view the full question and answer

Bottlebrush buckeye not leafing out from Newburyport MA
June 11, 2013 - We have a bottlebrush buckeye bush that has grown and blossomed for 16 years. This spring the bush failed to produce any leaves and there are no buds in anticipation of leaves. There are a few smaller...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center