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 Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
June 23, 2009 - I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit roug...
view the full question and answer

Need plants for a ecoregion prairie project in Cleburne, TX
October 30, 2014 - I have a ecoregion prairie project in which students are to plant from pots a small area so visitors might see what the seeded area will become. We are struggling to find potted plants. HELP
view the full question and answer

Plants for wall behind pool in Huntingdon Beach California
May 11, 2009 - I have a backyard pool and I just removed a messy ivy hedge that grew along the back block wall. The plant was shedding too much leaves. I would like the new plant to hide the fence and grow close en...
view the full question and answer

Need native plants to place in chicken coop in Charolette, NC
September 20, 2014 - Hi, I live near Charlotte, NC. I'm looking for native plants that I can plant in my chicken coop that will produce food for the chickens. If they also produced some delicious food for me, I wouldn't...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing ground cover for creekside
May 18, 2014 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Austin Texas and am looking for an aggressively spreading ground cover or grass to plant along a small creek on the back of my property in order to help with soil 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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center