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
18 ratings

Tuesday - September 23, 2008

From: Vista, CA
Region: California
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Groundcover for erosion control
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in southern california. What is the best groundcover to plant on a slope to prevent erosion?

ANSWER:

Grasses, with their dense fibrous root systems, are one of the best plants to use for erosion control.  Here are a few suggested grasses for southern California:

Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass)

Festuca californica (California fescue)

Koeleria macrantha (prairie Junegrass)

Melica imperfecta (smallflower melicgrass)

Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton) and more information

Here are some low-growing shrubs that could be used as groundcovers.  These could be used along with the grasses or instead of the grasses.  Their height is generally 1 to 3 ft.

Symphoricarpos mollis (creeping snowberry) with more information.  This is low-growing shrub that is generally less than 2 feet tall.

Encelia farinosa (brittlebush) with more photos and information

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat) with more information

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry) with more information


Achnatherum hymenoides

Festuca californica

Koeleria macrantha

Melica imperfecta

Sporobolus airoides

Symphoricarpos mollis

Encelia farinosa

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Mahonia repens

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Recommendations for a steep slope in Arlington, VA
September 10, 2015 - I have a side yard area about 35' long and 10' wide. It is very steep and get full sun. I recently I removed all the weeds down to dirt. I want to do low maintenance plants with mulch.
view the full question and answer

Plants for ditch bank to stop erosion
June 13, 2008 - I have a huge ditch on my property. The ditch bank is about 5,000 sq ft. There is a lot of erosion and I am looking to correct the problem. Is there any type of SEED, I am not looking to plant mature ...
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

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

California native bunch grasses good for erosion control
November 21, 2010 - In response to your answer about deep rooted native plants good for erosion control, don't forget to include native bunchgrasses. here in California, our bunchgrasses have roots that go 10ft, 20ft de...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center