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

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Asheville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native grass and/or wildflower seed mix for erosion control in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a native grass and/or wildflower seed mix to control erosion on a new mountain road in a pine forest (red clay dirt). The soil is dry and partly shaded, depending on the hour of the day.

ANSWER:

Grasses are ideal for controlling erosion because of their extensive fibrous root systems. To find suitable grasses you can do your own search in our Native Plant Database using the COMBINATION SEARCH option and choosing North Carolina from the map or pull-down menu, 'Grass/Grass-like' from Habit (general appearance), 'Part shade' from Light requirement and 'Dry' from Soil moisture.  This will give you a list of more than 20 grasses that meet most of the criteria for your site.  As you look at each of the pages for the grasses, you can find a description of the soil that these grasses require under the heading of Growing Conditions.  Here are some suggestions from that list:

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Muhlenbergia emersleyi (bullgrass)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Tridens flavus (purpletop tridens)

You can add various wildflowers to the mix by doing a similar search to the one above substituting 'Herb' for 'Grass/Grass-like' or you can go to our Recommended Species page and choose North Carolina from the map or pull-down menu to get a list of more than 130 commercially available native plants for landscaping in the state (this particular list doesn't include grasses).  You can then use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select for General Appearance, Light Requirement and Soil Moisture.  Here are a few sugggestions for wildflowers from that list:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)


Eragrostis intermedia

Muhlenbergia emersleyi

Panicum virgatum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Tridens flavus

Achillea millefolium

Coreopsis lanceolata

Monarda citriodora

Rudbeckia hirta

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
view the full question and answer

Riverbank Plants for Minnesota
September 04, 2013 - I would like to stablize a steep riverbank slope along the Upper Mississippi in St. Cloud MN. The slopes are almost 1:1. We are using an open cell concrete matt in which we are going to plant native...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
June 11, 2010 - Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for erosion control in sand on coastal Georgia
May 01, 2011 - I've been tasked with identifying native grass varieties or mixes (Coastal Georgia) that can be used for erosion control on sandy slopes created from dredged river sediment and that receive lots of s...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for erosion control
October 20, 2008 - I have moved into a home that had vinca covering the front yard which slopes to the sidewalk (18'x15'). I have removed 3/4 of the vinca by the roots and have placed several gulf coast muhly across ...
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