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

Sunday - May 28, 2006

From: Andover, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants to preserve soil on river bank
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in eastern Massachusetts. We have a small stream in our backyard and a woodland area on the other side. Japanese Knotweed is pretty well established on the opposite bank of the stream from our yard and has a few clumps on the near bank as well. Garlic mustard is also growing like crazy too. I'm determined to remove the knotweed and garlic mustard on this side of the bank, even if it takes several years. My question is what to do about the bare soil. Because its a riverbank I don't want to leave it barren for fear of erosion. Can you suggest any native plants that would do well to help restore the bank? It is mostly shady with rich soil from the leaf litter. Thanks

ANSWER:

American Globeflower (Trollius laxus) would be a good plant for this purpose. Moreover, it is a rare species (threatened in Connecticut) and you would be helping to conserve it by planting it by your stream. You may have a difficult time finding a supply, however. You might contact the Center for Plant Conservation for information about propagating the species on your property.

Other suggestions for plants that would do well by your stream include:
1. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
2. Beetleweed (Galax urceolata)
3. Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
4. Canada Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
5. Any of the violets (Viola spp.) native to the northeast would also be a good addition to the area.

To find nurseries that special in native plants in your area you can search our National Suppliers Directory. Also, you might like to check the New England Wild Flower Society web page. They periodically have native plant sales.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
view the full question and answer

Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
May 02, 2013 - On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if ...
view the full question and answer

Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
October 12, 2012 - What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Springfield MA
July 19, 2009 - We have a house next to us that is vacant. The lawn has not been mowed in months. a tall flower has grown amongst the grass and weeds. It is about 3 to 4 feet tall green stem and the flower is about 2...
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