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
2 ratings

Wednesday - February 03, 2010

From: Carlsbad, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs to stabilize steep slope in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Suggest shrubs to stabilize steep bank that are drought resistant and resistant to too much rain. Cape honeysuckle? oleander? bottle brush? What?

ANSWER:

Tecoma capensis (cape honeysuckle) is a native of  South Africa, Nerium oleander (oleander) is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, and Callistemon sp. (bottlebrush) is native to Australia.  Additionally, oleander is listed in the California Invasive Plant Inventory Database as moderately invasive.  So, since the focus and expertise of the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America, Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't recommend ANY of the above plants.  We can, however, recommend plants native to Southern California that will work for you.  Las Pilitas Nursery (with nurseries in Escondido and Santa Margarita) has a very good article called Simple Erosion Control for a Hillside or Garden Slope with suggestions for native plants.  Here are some suggested native plants for your area from us and from that list:

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita)

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Salvia sonomensis (creeping sage)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Diplacus longiflorus (southern bush monkeyflower)

Epilobium canum ssp. angustifolium [syn. Zauschneria californica] (hummingbird trumpet)

You can find more native plants for Southern California on our Recommended—Southern California page.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Arctostaphylos patula

Artemisia californica

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Ceanothus leucodermis

Salvia sonomensis

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Diplacus longiflorus

Epilobium canum ssp. angustifolium

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Drought resistant plants or flowering shrubs with pink flowers
September 15, 2006 - I need a hardy, drought resistant flower or flowering shrub for my renter, who likes pink flowers. She doesn't remember to water and most likely won't do any weeding. Area is Corinth, TX.
view the full question and answer

Trimming Texas mountain laurel in Austin
August 27, 2009 - Is there a specific time to trim established mountain laurels? Should I cut off the dried seed pods since they are weighing down the branches?
view the full question and answer

Texas Redbud Suddenly Died in NM
November 06, 2014 - We had a Texas redbud, approximately 5 1/2 years old. It had been doing great then all of a sudden after it bloomed this spring, the leaves appeared but then shriveled right away. We noticed the trunk...
view the full question and answer

Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
July 01, 2010 - Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Advice about lavender (Lavandula sp.)
June 03, 2008 - I recently visited a Lavender Farm just outside Gainseville Texas. I was hooked. However, when I started reading about growing Lavender I found that you should have well drained alkaline soil. Since...
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