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?


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

Friday - September 18, 2009

From: Hattiesburg, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Need landscape suggestions for area exposed after last flood on Black Creek in Forrest County. MS
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


We live on the Black Creek in Mississippi. After the last flood, we now have a steep sandy slope which is unmowable, and incredibly weedy. We want to remove the unsightly weeds- kill if necessary, and plant some kind of native ground cover or short shrubs of some kind. It's full sun from early AM to evening. We're at a loss, and no area nursery seems to have a clue. What would you suggest. I'm talking about a 4-5 ft. wide strip that is at least 200 yards along the creek. It's really fine sand, but the weeds are awful. We cannot get them with any machine. Thanks


This raises several questions for Mr. Smarty Plants: What was growing on this site before the flood (do you want it back)? Is erosion an issue?  You are talking about 3,000 sq. ft. of area, and that can hold a lot of plants.

I am going to give you a list of bunch grasses that can help stabilize the area. Their fibrous root systems can hold onto the soil particles and reduce erosion. I think your best bet is to have somone, a landscape architect for example, look at the situation to determine what action you should take.; sort of a "boots on the ground" approach. Another suggestion is to contact the Forrest County Office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service for advice with this problem.

Native grasses that can be helpful;

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium

Panicum virgatum

Chasmanthium latifolium

Sorghastrum nutans




Andropogon gerardii

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Help with Habiturf from Bertram TX
March 24, 2014 - I am a resident of Bertram..about 45 min northwest of Austin. I have 1.33 acres of land with my home on it. My front pasture is pretty nice native grass but my backyard is full of weeds. I'm guessing...
view the full question and answer

Native lawn replacement for shady areas in Austin
September 11, 2013 - Our front lawn was totally destroyed this summer during some remodeling construction. I am interested in replacing it with native grasses, but we have several oak trees that keep the area fairly shady...
view the full question and answer

Frequency of mowing on native grasses
November 17, 2006 - I live on 5 acres in TX Hill Country. I love the native grasses when they are high and blowing, etc. My husband insists on mowing, claiming that by mowing, the grasses grow more rapidly over the dry...
view the full question and answer

Restoring a prairie from Austin
January 11, 2013 - Restoring a mixed grass Blackland Prairie? Prairie Plant Succession? We are trying to establish climax species when an area is in a pioneering phase. Does the soil chemistry or biota change during ...
view the full question and answer

Will Habiturf be chicken feed from New Caney TX
November 21, 2013 - How well does your recommended native turf grass mix hold up against chickens or do double duty as feed? I have a mixed use property that will house Rabbits, Poultry (chickens/duck/geese), and ev...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center