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
2 ratings

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

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Plants for controlling erosion on a cleared slope in Ohio
April 29, 2009 - I live in Cincinnati, OH. BP owns a pipeline which runs thru part of my property. They clear out all the large trees every few years, so that it is visible from the air. Our area is surrounded by M...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control from Lakeland FL
November 03, 2012 - What native Ground cover is best for erosion control on slope of lake-front? Prefer not too invasive for this northern facing area behind a seawall and near large Oak tree.
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
October 08, 2008 - We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
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