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 Erosion Control Questions

Shade tolerant plants for erosion from Austin
May 03, 2014 - I live in Austin and my house backs up to Shoal Creek. I am looking for a native creeping vine or something that will grow on the shaded bank to help prevent erosion. It should be able to tolerate the...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Solution for Lorton, VA
February 07, 2014 - We have a steep slope in our common area of our homeowners association. Trees that were planted have died. It is a large area around a pond. What should we plant that will hold the soil? The soil...
view the full question and answer

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
view the full question and answer

Raingarden Plants for Brownsville, TX
March 14, 2014 - I'm a Landscape Architect in South Texas and I'm implementing raingardens and vegetated swales in my projects. What native plants could be used in these gardens/water runways. They would need to res...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control on slope from Columbia SC
April 25, 2013 - We are in the process of having a new home built in Columbia South Carolina. Part of the front yard has a steep slope starting approximately four feet from the corner of the house and running to the ...
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