En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 17, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover to help ease erosion in shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My house is situated on an embankment near a creek. We are looking for ground cover plants that can help ease the erosion of the embankment without being invasive for the existing trees. They must be able to live in the shade and be native to central Texas. Any ideas? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Your best bets for controlling erosion are grasses. They produce extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil very effectively. Once the area has stabilized you can add wildflowers to grow with the grasses. There are several grasses that will grow in shade or partial shade in the Austin area. It is a little late, however, to grow any of these from seed—you will need to find plugs (small plants) to set out. You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by visiting our National Suppliers Directory.

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Tridens flavus (purpletop tridens)

Sedges are also a good choice.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Eragrostis intermedia

Nassella tenuissima

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tridens flavus

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex planostachys

Carex texensis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Need plants with red flowers to grow in shaded area in yard in Austin.
May 04, 2010 - I have a shaded area where all the shrubs die. I would like to plant some flowers there instead of shrubs. What red flower plants can sustain a lot of shade.
view the full question and answer

Shade and Rain Garden in South Carolina
May 08, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have two seperate but important questions for your mastery of native plant knowledge. First, I live in a thick, 112 ft. tall white oak forest. Therefore, there is lot...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for dry shade in Virginia
May 23, 2008 - I live in Reston, Virginia and have dry shade. What are the best plants to use for my garden. Xeriscaping and native plants are important considerations.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center