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

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

Erosion blanket question from Antimony UT
August 03, 2011 - I want to use an erosion control blanket for a hill and want to know what type I should purchase that would allow planting seeds and them growing up through the blanket
view the full question and answer

Plants for vertical cliff in Pismo, CA
July 11, 2011 - Need help with erosion control on an 80' steep to vertical, top-soil, south facing cliff, Pismo CA (central coast) area. Terracing not an option. Prefer native, colorful plants that will give the bes...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Virginia
October 24, 2008 - Please help! Looking for landscaping ideas for a very large Steep hill. Features: slope is approximately 45-60 degrees, clay soil mixed with fill dirt, lots of deer, partial sun, seeking minimal maint...
view the full question and answer

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for erosion control in North Carolina
January 29, 2009 - I have an area on the north side of my house that is a hill with about a 6:1 slope. It also has a set of steps used to get from the front of the yard to the rear yard. It is very shaded. I am havin...
view the full question and answer

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