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Monday - July 16, 2007

From: Harpers Ferry, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion preventing plants for West Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and I've got a hillside that's too steep to mow. I'd like to put in plants that other than weeding and regular tending, will take off and hold the dirt. My home is in the woods and the hill gets full sun. It's rocky soil, but there is dirt. Can you please suggest some plants that can be encouraged to take off? Thank-you.


Grasses are excellent plants to prevent erosion because the extensive fibrous root systems that they develop work well holding the soil in place. Grasses could help get the soil stabilized for adding shrubs, subshrubs, and perennials. The plants recommended below are native to your area and grow in full sun under dry conditions.

Grasses and Sedges

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bromus kalmii (arctic brome)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Shrubs and Subshrubs

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Juniperus communis (common juniper)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf red blackberry)


Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Pityopsis graminifolia var. graminifolia (narrowleaf silkgrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bromus kalmii

Carex texensis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Juniperus communis

Rubus pubescens

Antennaria plantaginifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Pityopsis graminifolia var. graminifolia



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