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Saturday - June 19, 2010

From: Groveton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty feet wide running parallel along the county road with ditches along side of the road.It is where the treeless right of way and ditches meet that we are developing gullies. The soil at the base of the hill is heavy clay while only about 350 yards away at the top of the hill there is 3 feet of sand! We are willing to plant grass, wildflowers, vines, anything that can survive on half day of sunlight and poor soil conditions. Sure we would prefer something pretty and wildlife friendly but right now we we just want something that works to prevent a minor to medium problem from developing into a major problem. Great website by the way, I am happy to be a member.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your kind words and we are very happy that you are a member!

Grasses with their extensive fibrous root systems are ideal plants to use for erosion control.  Here are several candidate grasses for Trinity County:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

The Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas has a list of Native Plants for Erosion Control.  One suggestion from that list that might be appealing is Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry). They would do a great job of controlling erosion and could produce fruit for pies, jams and jellies, or just for eating.  Here are others from that list:

Physostegia angustifolia (narrowleaf false dragonhead) for spring blooms.

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant) is a fall bloomer.

Rivina humilis (rougeplant)

Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow)

 

 

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