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

Controlling slugs in a Pacific Northwest strawberry patch
February 04, 2013 - Would love to plant various varieties of strawberries on a bank for erosion control and ground cover. How can we keep the slugs at bay? We are in the the Pacific Northwest
view the full question and answer

Further explanation of retaining walls and trees from Washington MO
March 11, 2013 - I had a question previously about putting retaining walls across the root system of a 40' tall bald cypress tree(not like spokes on a wheel, but concentric to tree trunk). How wide can the walls be? ...
view the full question and answer

Hurricane Ivan damage from Pace FL
January 31, 2010 - My yard on Escambia Bay in NW Florida was stripped of good plants and topsoil by a 4 foot tidal surge in Hurricane Ivan. I have made some plantings, but am just now getting the entire property cleare...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
March 19, 2013 - A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has er...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center