Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Poppies for a wedding in August from Highlands Ranch CO
February 04, 2013 - Are poppies available to buy for weddings in August in Colorado?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Greenville SC
July 12, 2009 - Beebalm, Threadleaf Coreopsis, a Yaupon Holly, a Southern Magnolia, and a Highbush Blueberry. And as a ground cover in some areas, we have Cinquefoil (which helped me choke out Indian strawberry!) But...
view the full question and answer

Flowering landscape plants for Montgomery TX
March 07, 2013 - Hello I live in Montgomery TX. I am looking for low growing evergreen flowering plants for the front of my three deep beds. The first plant closest to the foundation is loropetalum, then I have a blue...
view the full question and answer

What are the grey-green plants on oak trees in San Marcos, TX?
March 12, 2011 - The oak trees in the neighborhood in San Marcos, TX, are covered with clumps, or balls, of gray/green fluffy-looking plants. they remind me of bromeliads. You can pull and knock them off; after wind ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 09, 2011 - In North Central Texas recommended plants, there are three coneflowers listed: Echinacea angustifolia-Black sampson E. purpurea-Purple coneflower E. purpurea-Eastern purple coneflower Is the Eas...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.