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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.

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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.

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Tuesday - July 26, 2011

From: Marion, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for slope in central Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our home is atop a 20-25' eastern facing sandy loam slope in central Alabama. It was previously covered w/ kudzu. After 3 yrs. of eradication of the kudzu we are ready to plant with native grasses/plants. Obviously our concern is soil erosion, but we would like to maintain our beautiful view. Any suggestions? Thanks so much

ANSWER:

Congratulations to you for eradicating the kudzu!  Be vigilant and don't let it get a foothold again.

Assuming that your slope is mostly in the sun or at least only part shade, here are some recommendations for grasses and annual or perennial herbaceous plants that are generally less than three feet high.  You should read the GROWING CONDITIONS for each of the recommended plants on each species' page to be sure that they are compatible with your site.

Grasses:

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)

Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Perennial herbaceous plants:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Annual herbaceous plants:

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

 Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

You can find more possibilities on the Alabama Recommended page.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option, using several different criteria such as Light Requirement, General Appearance, etc., to look for your preferred type of plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Texas bluegrass
Poa arachnifera

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

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