En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 26, 2008

From: Fawn Grove, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Low plants to cover bank too steep to mow
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bank along the road that is too steep to mow. This bank faces east and only gets 2 - 4 hours per day of sunlight. I'd like to try ground cover to prevent erosion, however visibility is a problem. I read your answer regarding grasses as good cover, however I can not use anything that will grow to a height greater than 6 - 8 inches due to driveway / road visibility. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

This was hard. The grasses we would ordinarily recommend for a slope in Pennsylvania all grow too high for your limits. One sedge that stayed low, one vine that would creep, and two low growing flowering plants, all of which will grow in Pennsylvania, were all we could come up with. You must have a really steep approach to the street to need that kind of height for visibility, not to mention the low amount of sun. Hopefully, some or all of these will help you out. If you find one or more that will work for you, go to Suppliers and type the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location box. You will get a list of native plant suppliers, nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area.

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox) - mat-forming perennial

Viola canadensis (Canadian white violet)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)


Phlox stolonifera

Carex pensylvanica

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Viola canadensis

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Propagation of Baptisia from Lancaster OH
August 24, 2012 - My Baptisia has gone to seed. When can I plant these seeds? Do they need strat? (zone 5)
view the full question and answer

Plant ID at the Wildflower Center from Austin
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Wildflower Center today and loved the green plants with delicate white flowers that were in both clay pots in front of the auditorium. Please let me know the name of the plants.
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Source for Dichondra from Hillsboro TX
November 26, 2012 - Where can I get dichondra and info about it?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for cutting garden in Starkville MS
July 29, 2010 - I would like to know the native plants to put in a cutting garden.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center