En EspaŅol

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
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

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

Large-scale container garden for New York City
August 17, 2013 - I am a community volunteer in NYC who is trying to help a non-profit set up two large container gardens (about 3 feet high by 4 feet long by 2 or so feet wide). The problem is that they want natives,...
view the full question and answer

Removing Mountain Laurel Seed Pods from Austin
August 14, 2012 - Is it best to remove seed pods from Mt. Laurel or leave them on the tree?
view the full question and answer

Eradication of mahonia repens
July 27, 2008 - What is the best way to kill and/or remove mahonia repens?
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
April 10, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for northern exposure in Wichita, KS
March 17, 2009 - What are good plants for the north side of the house with acidic soil in Zone 6, Wichita, KS?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center