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

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

Plants for slopes in South Texas
October 05, 2009 - Can you provide a list of plants for use on slopes in S. Texas?
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

Water eroding corner in Austin
October 25, 2011 - I live close to the Wildflower Center. My yard slopes - as do my neighbors' yards to one corner in my yard. The result is constant moisture in one corner. The rest of the yard is caliche, rocks (m...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stem bank erosion in Ponder, Texas
May 07, 2010 - We have a pond with a bridge over the middle in full sun with a steep bank on one side. The bank is difficult to maintain and we need some natural looking low maintenance plants or ground cover to pl...
view the full question and answer

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