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Mr. Smarty Plants - Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX

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Monday - April 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm interested in finding native plants, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a fairly steep slope. These plants would be in a park, and volunteers will be watering the plants. The area is partly shaded. We are considering little bluestem grass for part of the area and wonder if that would be appropriate.

ANSWER:

Native grasses are an excellent plant choice for erosion control because the extensive fibrous root systems that they develop work well holding the soil in place.

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) would certainly be appropriate as well as other native grasses that do well in the shade, such as Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats), Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass), and Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama).

Sedges, such as Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge), Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) or Carex texensis (Texas sedge) as well as the grasslike Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) should also be effective.

You could also add some perennial herbaceous plants (e.g., Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine), Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot), Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage), and Tradescantia occidentalis (prairie spiderwort).

You might also consider installing erosion control blankets to help with the stabilization until the plants are established.


Schizachyrium scoparium

Chasmanthium latifolium

Eragrostis intermedia

Bouteloua curtipendula

Carex blanda

Carex texensis

Nolina texana

Aquilegia canadensis

Melampodium leucanthum

Salvia roemeriana

Tradescantia occidentalis

 

 

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