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 - 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

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent bank erosion in Georgia
January 20, 2009 - I NEED LIST OF PLANTS TO HELP PREVENT BANK EROSION. WE LIVE AT BOTTOM OF HILL THAT FURTHER SLOPES TO A POND. THE AREA IS SHADY AND WET FACING NORTHEAST. ANY RAIN CAUSES THE POND TO MUD UP. WE HAVE...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent bank erosion in Virginia
April 02, 2009 - I am looking for good native plant choices for a steep river bank. My driveway is at the top of this slope, so I will need to avoid any plants that would cause erosion. I would prefer low shrubs.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center