En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Grasses for erosion control in sand on coastal Georgia

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

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

Groundcover for erosion control in Missouri
July 23, 2008 - Can you suggest a ground cover to stop erosion on a slight slope in my backyard? I live in Missouri - the soil is very poor in this area and has lots of rock underneath the soil. The yard drains int...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for erosion control in South Dakota
December 04, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota at about 5000 feet ASL. My house is on a steep hill. I had to clear a perimeter around my house of all the pine trees for fire supp...
view the full question and answer

Plants for banks of a retention pond in Alabama
April 24, 2009 - What can we plant on the inner and out walls of a detention pond to stop erosion? The pond is located in a neighborhood in Mobile, AL and the walls are 9 ft high with a steep slope.
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in Pittsburgh, PA
August 22, 2009 - I have a terraced high side lot(front of house). I currently have Yuccas growing, but they are too invasive. Can you suggest plants, shrubs, or ground covers that are not as invasive and will still ...
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

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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center