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 - May 01, 2011

From: Savannah, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Grasses for erosion control in sand on coastal Georgia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've been tasked with identifying native grass varieties or mixes (Coastal Georgia) that can be used for erosion control on sandy slopes created from dredged river sediment and that receive lots of sun. Ideally, it could be planted any time of the year. Any thoughts?

ANSWER:

The following grasses and grass-like plants are found on the Georgia coast and are adapted to growing in sand.  You didn't mention how far from the ocean and ocean spray the area is and whether the grasses need to be salt tolerant.  The Native Plant Society of Florida has a list of Natives to Grow in Nassau County (the coastal county adjacent to Georgia) with indications of salt tolerance so I have added this information for the grasses that occur on their list.  Some of these grasses require more water than the others.  You should check the GROWING CONDITIONS on each of the species page to determine if they are compatible with your site.

Spartina patens (Marsh-hay cord grass) highly salt tolerant.  Here are photos and more information about both S. patens and S. alterniflora.

Spartina alterniflora (Saltmarsh cordgrass)

Uniola paniculata (Sea oats) highly salt and drought tolerant.

Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass).  The Florida NPSOT lists this grass as highly salt and drought tolerant; however, the Institute for Regional Conservation says it is not highly salt tolerant.

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern gamagrass) highly salt tolerant.

Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense (Jamaica swamp sawgrass) highly salt tolerant.

 Triplasis purpurea (Purple sandgrass)Here are photos and more information.

Eleocharis montevidensis (Sand spikerush)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of some of the grasses listed above:


Uniola paniculata


Tripsacum dactyloides


Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense


Spartina alterniflora


Eleocharis montevidensis


Panicum virgatum

 


 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008 - I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

Erosion control plantings in Washington state
September 06, 2007 - Hi, I am trying to do an eagle project that involves putting vegetation onto a hill to prevent erosion. I live in Washington state where there is plenty of rain so erosion is a big problem. We are t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for ditch bank to stop erosion
June 13, 2008 - I have a huge ditch on my property. The ditch bank is about 5,000 sq ft. There is a lot of erosion and I am looking to correct the problem. Is there any type of SEED, I am not looking to plant mature ...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
March 31, 2011 - We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
view the full question and answer

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