Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Sunday - October 03, 2010

From: Binghamton, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm doing research into riverbank erosion in Broome County, NY, and I was wondering if you had some sort of resource that would be able to tell me which species of grasses, shrubs, and trees native to Broome County are best for reducing/eliminating erosion.

ANSWER:

Plants that have fibrous root systems or spread by runners are the best for preventing erosion.

You can select plants native to NY by searching our Plant Database using the Combination Search feature and selecting the plant type (trees, shrubs or grasses) and light and moisture conditions. You will also find the Evergreen.ca database helpful since most of the plants native to your area are also native to Ontario. On their Advanced Search page simply select Ontario, native species only, Riparian Habitat and check yes for erosion control.  You can cross reference that list of 67 plants with the combination searches for NY on our database and select plants that are readily available in your area.

Here are some of my favourites from those lists:

Grasses

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye or canada wild rye)

Hierochloe odorata (Sweetgrass)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Softstem bulrush)

Shrubs

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush)

Cornus sericea (Redosier dogwood)

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Rubus odoratus (Purpleflowering raspberry)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Common elderberry)

Spiraea alba (White meadowsweet)

Trees

Abies balsamea (Balsam fir)   Images (from Evergreen.ca)

Acer rubrum (Red maple)

Larix laricina (American larch) Images (from Evergreen.ca)

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry)

Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae)


Elymus canadensis


Hierochloe odorata


Panicum virgatum


Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


Cephalanthus occidentalis


Cornus sericea


Physocarpus opulifolius


Rubus odoratus


Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis


Spiraea alba


Acer rubrum


Prunus virginiana


Thuja occidentalis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Hillside Erosion Control for Gainesville GA
August 07, 2013 - I have a steep bare hill and the runoff from it is heavy this year. I need help with a fast growing groundcover that will help control erosion and runoff. Planting on the hill is difficult because you...
view the full question and answer

Plants Needed for a Shaded, Rocky Slope in Alabama
July 06, 2016 - I live in Alabama where the soil is clay and rocky. I've tried planting on a rocky slope I have but, it's also shaded. Not even Juniper will survive on this slope. I've spent thousands of dollars tryi...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in VA
March 05, 2011 - Looking for a plant to prevent erosion on a riverbank on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Prefer something low, bank is a bit steep for regular mowing but could be mowed infrequently. Riverbank h...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.