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

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

Inadvisability of introducing American Beautyberry to Michigan
November 25, 2005 - I recently brought back to Michigan from Florida 2 young beauty berry plants. I currently have them in a pot inside my home. They are growing quite well, and show a hearty appearance. What are th...
view the full question and answer

Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012 - I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
view the full question and answer

Yaupon sprouts from Bennettsville SC
May 29, 2013 - I have Yaupons in a flower bed and they have too many shoots to pull up, can I spray them with roundup and not kill the bush and what strength should I use?
view the full question and answer

When does Ziziphus obtusifolia leaf and flower in Austin?
March 22, 2010 - Hello Mr. S.P., Do you know when the Texas buckthorn, Ziziphus obtusifolia (I believe), flowers (and leafs out) in Austin? Is there one at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
March 17, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
view the full question and answer

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