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Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants for erosion control in southern Maryland

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Thursday - September 03, 2009

From: Port Tobacco, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants for erosion control in southern Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Would you recommend a plant that would act as erosion control for woodlands in Southern Maryland? The soil has a high clay content with a mature hardwoods population.The current erosion is significant and I am hoping to plant something soon to reduce the damage.

ANSWER:

Grasses are excellent plants to curb erosion because of their extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil in place.  Since you are talking about a woodland setting with mature hardwoods, you will need to consider plants that will tolerate shade or partial shade. Here are some possibilities:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Along with the grasses you could add some groundcovers that do well in a partially shaded woodland setting. Here are some that are recommended for Maryland:

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny-spurge)

Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)

Phlox subulata (moss phlox)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Andropogon virginicus

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Paspalum floridanum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Pachysandra procumbens

Chrysogonum virginianum

Phlox subulata

Gaultheria procumbens

 

 

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