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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






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