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?


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

Tuesday - August 03, 2010

From: Canton, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native plants for erosion control in sun in Canton PA
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We just cleared a bank and need native plants and shrubs to grow for erosion control. Much sun. Thank you.


First of all, grasses with their extensive fibrous root systems are ideal plants to use for erosion control so you would definitely want to plant some grasses on the bank.  Here are a few that are native to your area:


Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Bromus kalmii (arctic brome)

Deschampsia cespitosa (tufted hairgrass)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

There are a variety of herbaceous perennials and small shrubs that you can add to the grasses.

Perennials and small shrubs

Actaea rubra (red baneberry)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox subulata (moss phlox)

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant)

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)

Rosa carolina (Carolina rose)

Here are photos from our Image Galery:

Elymus canadensis

Bromus kalmii

Deschampsia cespitosa

Eragrostis spectabilis

Actaea rubra

Lupinus perennis

Monarda didyma

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox subulata

Physostegia virginiana

Gaylussacia baccata

Rosa carolina




More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion on sandy bank in Wisconsin
June 24, 2008 - I live in Sand Creek Wisconsin. As the name states SAND. I have a problem with rain eroding the sand hill sides. Looking for some type of plant or plants that will help with the erosion problem.
view the full question and answer

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Further explanation of retaining walls and trees from Washington MO
March 11, 2013 - I had a question previously about putting retaining walls across the root system of a 40' tall bald cypress tree(not like spokes on a wheel, but concentric to tree trunk). How wide can the walls be? ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for curb appeal from Birmingham AL
June 16, 2011 - My front yard is on a down hill slope. Can you recommend some plants that would be good for creating curb appeal that will be planted up against the house? We need some that are short around 2 feet ...
view the full question and answer

How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
March 19, 2013 - A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has er...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center