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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - April 26, 2010

From: Rolling Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants for erosion control in horse pasture
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have erosion on a slope, southwestern facing, minimal shade in Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. The soil is rocky and clayish. The hillside is in the middle of a horse paddock and barn. What plants would prevent erosion and is not toxic to horses? Currently the horses are prevented from walking on the slope to minimize erosion but they can access the perimeter of the slope. Thank you for your response.

ANSWER:

First, let me recommend an article, Simple erosion control for a hillside or garden slope, from Las Pilitas Nursery, specializing in native plants in Escondido and Santa Margarita, California.  They even have some suggestions for plants that are good in clay soils.   Here are a few from that list and also some from our California-Southern Recommended list:

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Baccharis pilularis (coyotebrush) and here is more information

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Salvia sonomensis (creeping sage)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Diplacus longiflorus (southern bush monkeyflower)

None of the plants listed above appeared in any of the following toxic plant lists:

1. Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List - Horses from the ASPCA

2. List of poisonous plants from California Poison Control System

3. Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants database

4. Plants Poisonous to Livestock from Cornell University

5. Poisonous Plants—a primer to keep your horse safe from Raspberry Ridge Farms.

You might like to check for more plants suitable for your slope in our California-Southern Recommended list.  You can use the links above to check the plants for toxicity to your horses.

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


Artemisia californica

Baccharis pilularis

Ceanothus leucodermis

Salvia sonomensis

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Diplacus longiflorus


 

 

 

 

 

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