En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plant to stabilize river bank in Wisconsin

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
1 rating

Sunday - July 10, 2011

From: Durand, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Plant to stabilize river bank in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live along the Chippewa River in Pepin County WI and are looking for a blooming plant to help "hold" our river bank and also look attractive..it must be strong enough to take the spring flood.

ANSWER:

Here are some small to medium-sized shrubs with attractive flowers and/or berries that should work well to hold your river bank.  You will want to get them in and well-established before flood season so that their roots will have grown sufficiently to keep them in place.  You might also consider some grasses along with the shrubs.  The fibrous root systems of grass are excellent at holding onto soil.

Shrubs:

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush).  Here are more photos and information.

Hypericum prolificum (Shrubby St. Johnswort).  Here are more photos and information.

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark).  Here are more photos and information.

Spiraea alba (White meadowsweet).  Here are more photos and information.

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry).  Here are more photos and information.

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberry bush).  Here are more photos and information.

Grasses:

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

 Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye or canada wild rye)

Pascopyrum smithii (Western wheatgrass)

You can do your own search for plants suitable for stabilizing your river bank by choosing Wisconsin from the map or pulldown menu on our Recommended Species pageThis will give you a list of more than 170 native plants that are commercially available and recommended for landscaping in Wisconsin. When you reach the "Wisconsin Recommended" page you can NARROW YOUR SEARCH by making choices in several categories—General Appearance, Lifespan, Light Requirement, Soil Moisture, Bloom Time, Bloom Color and Height.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Shrubby st. johnswort
Hypericum prolificum

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

White meadowsweet
Spiraea alba

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

American cranberry bush
Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Western wheatgrass
Pascopyrum smithii

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
October 05, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Would Habiturf or buffalograss work in Charlottesville VA
July 18, 2012 - Hello, I am looking for an alternative to traditional turf grasses. I stumbled upon some information on your site about buffalo grass and LBJWC's 'Habiturf' mix and would like to know if this w...
view the full question and answer

Plants for streambank area in Oregon
September 14, 2012 - I am ready to replant a streambank area with native plants..what do you recommend for the Willamette Valley in Oregon? Thanks much!
view the full question and answer

Non-native ligustrum in non-native fescue in Medina TX
May 22, 2013 - Is there an effective way to kill baby ligustrums coming up in my fescue yard without harming the grass?
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