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
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

Erosion control for steep slope in West Virginia
October 05, 2008 - I live in Zone 6 (Eastern Panhandle of WV). I have a rocky, claylike steep slope (30-40% grade, about 50 feet wide and 20 feet long, it sits in the afternoon sun). So I need to plant erosion-control p...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent creekside erosion in Nacogdoches County, Texas
December 09, 2014 - I am looking for some advice on plants native to Texas that can help prevent erosion. I own a wooded lot with a creek and would like to consolidate the sides of the creek against potential erosion. I...
view the full question and answer

Revegetating a hillside in western Washington state
October 10, 2012 - Removing several downed trees across my dock demolished the native plants growing on the hillside and the contractor pulled out their remains. The area faces east on an open freshwater bay. Close to...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for steep bank to prevent erosion
March 24, 2010 - We recently bought a house (6 months ago) in Memphis, TN that backs up to a concrete drainage ditch. There is a fairly steep, mostly shaded bank that leads from the flat section of the back yard to th...
view the full question and answer

Native border plants to stop erosion
February 18, 2015 - I need native border plants to assist in stopping soil erosion due to water run off from rain and the Catawba River.
view the full question and answer

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