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

Thursday - March 26, 2009

From: Mundelein, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy to control bank erosion. A combo of evergreen shrubs/trees/flowers would be ideal. Thank you in advance!

ANSWER:

Here are some recommendations for native plants that should do well on your creek bank.  Unfortunately, there are very few choices for evergreens.

GRASS/GRASS-LIKE

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail), evergreen

SHRUBS/SMALL TREES

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)

Betula nigra (river birch)

Salix nigra (black willow)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

FLOWERS

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Eupatoriadelphus maculatus (spotted trumpetweed)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Justicia americana (American water-willow)

You can see more possibilities by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in the Native Plant Database by selecting 'Illinois' from the Select State or Province, 'Wet..' from Soil moisture, and your choice from the Habit (general appearance) option.

You can also find a list of Wetland Wildflowers of Illinois in the Illinois Wildflowers database.


Carex stipata

Calamagrostis canadensis

Carex vulpinoidea

Equisetum hyemale

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Betula nigra

Salix nigra

Lindera benzoin

Lobelia cardinalis

Asclepias incarnata

Eupatoriadelphus maculatus

Lobelia siphilitica

Justicia americana

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
April 14, 2013 - Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.
view the full question and answer

Propagating Pavonia seeds
October 10, 2013 - Could you please recommend a method for scarifying Pavonia seeds? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Plants for shelter for butterflies
July 04, 2010 - I understand that butterflies need certain plants for food, but are there specific plants that butterflies prefer to use as shelter in central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Looking for a Privacy Barrier Plant for NC
August 21, 2014 - I am trying to determine the best plant for a privacy barrier for my area in NC that has clay soil. I have a 6 foot high fence but need something 12 feet or taller. It has to be something that does no...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
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