Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Privacy screen shrubs for Butler PA
August 09, 2013 - Here is what I want in a bush: native to Western Pa.(Southern Butler County), appropriate for a horse pasture,fast growing, not too aggressive (I will mow around it regularly and can prune occasionall...
view the full question and answer

No Berries on Possumhaw from Victoria, TX
November 08, 2010 - I bought a Possumhaw about 4 years ago because I love red berry plants. So you can realize my disappointment in this very healthy looking green tree that refuses to give me any red berries. What is wr...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

Older leaves yellowing on Savannah holly in Dallas
May 01, 2009 - I planted a Savannah Holly in Dallas, TX in the Fall of 2008. It has new growth and some white buds all over it, but some of the older leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. Is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Are Chickasaw plums evergreen?
August 13, 2014 - Are Chickasaw Plums evergreens? I've been very interested in planting a few but some websites say they are evergreens while others say the opposite. Furthermore, would I have to plant a male and fema...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.