En Español

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?


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

Saturday - April 25, 2009

From: Salisbury, CT
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native plants to retain slope in Salisbury, CT
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We want to plant a newly dug out slope with native plants that will retain the dirt. It is sun to part sun near a lake summer cottage. Thanks!!!


The best thing for retention of that slope would be a meadow garden, which combines grasses, which are world class erosion preventers, and wildflowers for a pleasant view from your cottage. Begin by reading our How-To Article, Meadow Gardening. We will follow up by going to our Recommended Species section, clicking on Connecticut on the map, and searching for grasses and wildflowers native to your area that you can plant. You can repeat the same process, going to the Native Plant Database for the grasses, and make your own choices. Follow the plant links to each individual plant webpage to learn propagation techniques, amount of moisture needed,etc.

Herbaceous blooming plants

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - perennial, 1 to 3 ft. tall, blooms white, pink April to September, sun, part shade

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - perennial, 1 to 2 ft., deciduous, blooms orange, yellow May to september, sun, part shade

Anemone canadensis (Canadian anemone) - perennial, 1 to 2 ft., blooms white April to June, part shade, shade

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium (fireweed) - perennial, 3 to 5 ft. tall, blooms white, piink purple June to August, sun

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - perennial to 3 ft., blooms blue, purple July to November, sun, part shade

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - perennial to 1 ft. tall, blooms yellow April to June,

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - perenial, 2 to 3 ft., blooms blue July to October, sun to shade

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm) - perennial, 3 ft., blooms red May to October, sun, pat shade


Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) - warn season perennial, 4 to 8 ft. tall, sun, part shade

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - warm season perennial, 1 to 3 ft., sun, part shade

Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) - perennial, 1 to 3 ft., sun

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint) - perennial, 3 to 5 ft, sun to shade

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye) - cool season perennial, deciduous, 3 to 6 ft., sun, part shade

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly) - perennial, 1 to 3 ft., sun

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - perennial, 18 to 24 inches, sun, part shade

Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass) - perennial, 3 to 6 ft. part shade

Achillea millefolium

Asclepias tuberosa

Anemone canadensis

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium

Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda didyma

Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua gracilis

Calamagrostis canadensis

Elymus canadensis

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tripsacum dactyloides





More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native lawn grass for Seabrook TX
March 12, 2013 - We want to seed our lawn in Seabrook, Tx.77586 with a Natural Grass replacing our St. Augustine Grass. I think there is one that is drought resistant (only water it twice a month.) and that does not g...
view the full question and answer

Turf grass for a sandy site in central Texas
February 16, 2015 - I want to plant grass over an old sand volleyball court in our back yard in Bastrop, Texas. What is the best way to go? Adding top soil and buffalo grass seed or try St. Augustine?
view the full question and answer

Plants for slope on Orcas Island, WA
July 21, 2011 - Hi! What a great site! Okay, I have a home on Orcas Island, WA. We live here from about June through September, but only visit once a month or so the other times of the year. We are looking for somet...
view the full question and answer

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center