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?

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

Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Rocky River, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The site is windy half of the area is sunny, the other half shady.

ANSWER:

You will find some really helpful information in this publication by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It is very comprehensive and will guide you with planning and execution.  It also has plant recommendations for trees and shrubs, though not all are actually native Ohio plants. For more information about each plant you can visit our Native Plant Database.

There are no recommendations for herbaceous plants however, which can be excellent for erosion control. Grasses, with their fibrous root systems are especially good at holding a slope, as well as many of the  prairie wildflowers that are native to Ohio.  You can generate lists of plants by doing a Combination Seach on the database selecting: Ohio/plant type (grass or herbaceous plant)/and your light and soil conditions (depending on the location in the windbreak). Each plant name on the list is linked to a detailed information page.

Some recommendations from those lists are:

Grasses

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

 Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Perennials

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Liatris aspera var. intermedia (Intermediate rough gayfeather)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

Oenothera fruticosa ssp. glauca (Narrowleaf evening-primrose)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

American basket-flower
Centaurea americana

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Intermediate rough gayfeather
Liatris aspera var. intermedia

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Narrowleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera fruticosa ssp. glauca

Canada goldenrod
Solidago canadensis

More Shrubs Questions

Low growing erosion control plants for lakeside in Washington Township NJ
May 12, 2013 - I live on a small lake in Northern NJ and have installed beautiful Boulders along the water to help stop erosion. Now I want to add plants along the property but would like low growing, soil retentio...
view the full question and answer

Why do the leaves of my potted Esperanza plant look droopy?
August 13, 2009 - My Esperanza plant leaves look droopy. I have it in a big pot and have for 3 years.
view the full question and answer

Growing Dwarf Yaupon Holly in Texas
December 04, 2013 - We planted 10 extra dwarf yaupons in our Austin front yard. They were identified as 'Gremici' dwarf yaupon. I googled them to get more information about them in order to determine why five have di...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub in Georgia
May 26, 2010 - I have a bush that has red berries. It is evergreen and the leaves are a soft green. The berries are white at first and turn red. The bush is like a cluster of twigs that are in one area kind of li...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
July 13, 2008 - I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will no...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center