En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Stabilizing a sand bank in VT
August 13, 2011 - We have a summer cottage in Burlington, Vt. and need to stabilize a mound of sand. The "bank" we are trying to stabilize has partial sun and faces south. It measures approx 4' high and is 30' long...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Ft. Wright KY
June 02, 2010 - My house sits on a hillside. On the back and behind a somewhat large concrete deck there is a retention wall that protects the deck, but after that there is this large area (at least 24X20 ft), that ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stabilize a bank in VT
April 10, 2012 - I am looking for suggestion on what plants might best be suited for aiding in the stabilization of a very steep bank above Lake Champlain.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native plants for slope in South Carolina
July 14, 2008 - We would like to plant an evergreen garden in our backyard, which is on a slope. It receives the sun from approx 9-4. We have an above ground pool, and patio area. Would also like a recommendation of ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a lakeside bank in NC
November 07, 2011 - Our association is looking to plant a huge sloped area that runs down to Lake Wylie. We want to plant something that is good for erosion and that does not grow too tall so that we keep our view of th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center