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

Sunday - February 21, 2010

From: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Region: California
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for steep slope in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have steep slope, southwestern facing, minimal shade in Southern California. The soil is rocky. Because of fire danger, I would rather not plant grasses. Do you have a suggestion?

ANSWER:

First of all, Las Pilitas Nursery, specializing in California native plants in Escondido and Santa Margarita, has an excellent article, Simple erosion control for a hillside or garden slope, that I think you might find helpful.

Here are a few recommended plants from our California-Southern Recommended list and from Las Pilitas.  Both sources have more suggestions.

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Diplacus aurantiacus [syn. = Mimulus aurantiacus] (orange bush monkeyflower)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita)

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy)

Salvia apiana (white sage)

Salvia mellifera (black sage)

Baccharis pilularis (coyotebrush)

You can check the relative fire resistance for these plants and others in Las Pilitas' article, Leaf burn times of California native plants.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Artemisia californica

Diplacus aurantiacus ssp. aurantiacus

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Arctostaphylos patula

Dendromecon rigida

Salvia apiana

Salvia mellifera

Baccharis pilularis

 


 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for shrubs for a 150ft. barrier.
March 25, 2009 - What do you suggest for planting 150' site barrier only 15' high western Idaho?
view the full question and answer

Want to identify a shrub with golden to orangish berries in Minneapolis MN.
July 14, 2009 - Tall shrub or maybe tree with small berries golden to orangish color. The berries are not in large clumps but more twos and threes. Leaves are opposite each other, smooth edges and sort of elliptica...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for part shade in Bee Cave TX
June 18, 2013 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I am looking for plants that will thrive on my covered porch in 3 tall planters. These are meant to help me block an unattractive view out my living room window, so they must...
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012 - I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center