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

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Transplant shock in Texas Star hibiscus
July 31, 2008 - Why is my Texas star plant wilting and now is starting to turn yellow? I just bought it from a nursery and put it in a new pot.
view the full question and answer

Crows foot plant for Christmas wreaths from Millsboro DE
November 04, 2012 - I am looking for a plant called crows foot to make wreaths for Christmas. Where do I find this plant.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Greenville SC
July 12, 2009 - Beebalm, Threadleaf Coreopsis, a Yaupon Holly, a Southern Magnolia, and a Highbush Blueberry. And as a ground cover in some areas, we have Cinquefoil (which helped me choke out Indian strawberry!) But...
view the full question and answer

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for landscaping
November 13, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our HOA is wanting to change the landscaping to Drought-tolerant plants and flowers. The area is Grayson County, south of Sherman Texas. What plants and flowers would you su...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center