En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas

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

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)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Rubus trivialis

Physostegia angustifolia

Physostegia virginiana

Rivina humilis

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus moscheutos

Kosteletzkya virginica

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Tea made from timothy grass
June 20, 2008 - My mom and I have been drinking tea made from Timothy grass seed for many years, 40 at least. It is delicious, and refreshing. My question is can you see any harm in drinking tea made from the seeds o...
view the full question and answer

Gardening books for Austin and Central Texas
June 09, 2008 - Hi, I'm looking for a book for my wife. She is a beginning gardener here in Austin. Do you know of an ideal book or two that covers vegetable gardening and gardening in general in Austin/Central Tex...
view the full question and answer

Planting fruit and nut trees in Archer, FL.
January 26, 2012 - We're looking to plant a few fruit and nut trees in Archer, Florida. We've been thinking about figs, apples, peaches, oranges, plums, and whatever nuts grow best here (looks like almonds and pecan...
view the full question and answer

Edible native plants in New York
July 29, 2013 - In your plant database- which is great by the way- it does not say whether or not the plant is edible. Do you have any way to search for edible plants? Or do you have a separate database? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
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