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?


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
1 rating

Wednesday - June 04, 2008

From: Railroad, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and stones continues to erode (and now the stones are falling!). Please help me identify perennials (preferably native) that can be planted around the pond and streambank. The location of the pond is in the front yard near the road, so I would like something hardy, maybe evergreen, with color and varying heights... is my wish list out of reach? Thanks! Caroline


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that we can help you find plants to fill your wish list. First of all, here are several native evergreen plants, with different forms, that will grow in wet and/or moist soils in Pennsylvania:


Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Carex intumescens (bladder sedge)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry) with a photo from Nearctica.com

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Pyrola asarifolia (liverleaf wintergreen)

Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)

You can see a list of plants native to Pennsylvania that grow in wet soils by visiting our Native Plant Database and doing a Combination Search, choosing 'Pennsylvania' from All states and provinces and 'Wet' from Soil moisture. There are other options for selection, also. Here are a few from the list that will add color and interest to your pond area and help stop the erosion.

Acorus calamus (calamus)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Iris versicolor (harlequin blueflag)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis (royal fern)

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Equisetum hyemale

Polystichum acrostichoides

Gaultheria procumbens

Pyrola asarifolia

Andromeda polifolia

Acorus calamus

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Iris versicolor

Lobelia siphilitica

Lobelia cardinalis

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis

Andropogon glomeratus






More Erosion Control Questions

Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
April 22, 2013 - I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for...
view the full question and answer

Plants for ditch bank to stop erosion
June 13, 2008 - I have a huge ditch on my property. The ditch bank is about 5,000 sq ft. There is a lot of erosion and I am looking to correct the problem. Is there any type of SEED, I am not looking to plant mature ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for slope to detention pond
August 09, 2008 - We have been required by code to build a detention pond for new church buildings in the Webster, TX (Clear Lake) area. There is a serious erosion of soil from water runoff from the building roof need...
view the full question and answer

Limiting erosion around pond from Brooklyn Park MN
May 20, 2013 - Minnesota resident, wants to find plant limit erosion from pond?
view the full question and answer

Preventing Soil Erosion in Elgin, Texas
June 06, 2011 - I live in Elgin,TX and our property is basically a slope with dense oak and cedar trees on the back of the property. The soil is sandy loam. What type of native plants or grasses can I plant to stop...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center