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Mr. Smarty Plants - Erosion control near creek in Kansas City, MO

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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

 

 

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