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

Saturday - July 26, 2008

From: Pleasant Hill, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control near creek in Kansas City, MO
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for something to plant to help stop erosion on my property. The spot I have in mind is on a slight natural grade heading toward the creek at the back of my property. Any ideas on what to plant - it is in a fairly shady spot? I live near Kansas City Missouri. Someone suggested daylilies - but don't they need a lot of sun?

ANSWER:

First of all, daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are native to Europe and Asia and not native to North America. Since what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", Mr. SP wouldn't recommend planting daylilies. Besides, you are right that they do best in full sun.

Grasses and sedges work well for erosion control because of their fibrous root systems that hold the soil and we can recommend several shade-loving ones that are native to Missouri.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) sun, part shade, shade and dry to moist soils, evergreen

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) part shade and wet or moist soils, evergreen

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) sun, part shade, shade and dry to moist soils, evergreen

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) sun, part shade and dry to moist soils

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) part shade, shade and dry to moist soils

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye) sun, part shade, shade and dry to moist soils

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass) part shade and dry soils

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) sun, part shade and dry soils

You could also use ferns.

Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort) part shade, shade and dry to moist soils, evergreen

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern) part shade, shade and moist to wet soils

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) part shade and moist to wet soils

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) sun, part shade and dry to moist soils, evergreen

After your soil is stabilized by using the grasses, sedges, and/or ferns, you could also add wildflowers to the mix. You can find a list of commercially available native plants recommended for landscaping by choosing Missouri from the map on our Recommended Species page.


Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex pensylvanica

Carex texensis

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Eragrostis intermedia

Schizachyrium scoparium

Asplenium platyneuron

Athyrium filix-femina

Osmunda cinnamomea

Polystichum acrostichoides

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
October 08, 2008 - We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
view the full question and answer

Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control from White Stone VA
January 14, 2012 - Native Wetland Plants for Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control -- I have a wooded lot (pine and hardwoods)leading to 4-5 ft. wide flat shoreline edged with riprap. What native wetland plants survive salt wa...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
view the full question and answer

Plants for slope in central Alabama
July 26, 2011 - Our home is atop a 20-25' eastern facing sandy loam slope in central Alabama. It was previously covered w/ kudzu. After 3 yrs. of eradication of the kudzu we are ready to plant with native grasses/pl...
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