En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
8 ratings

Saturday - January 14, 2012

From: White Stone, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Lists, Erosion Control
Title: Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control from White Stone VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Native Wetland Plants for Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control -- I have a wooded lot (pine and hardwoods)leading to 4-5 ft. wide flat shoreline edged with riprap. What native wetland plants survive salt water tides and slow erosion? I want to fill that 4-5 ft. wide area high with them.

ANSWER:

Lucky you, or maybe lucky us. There is already a list of 422 Plants of Chesapeake Bay on our Recommended Species page in our website.This list was provided to us by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office. Begin by following the link to the list and then use the Narrow Your Search feature to select the General Appearance (tree, herbaceous blooming plant, etc.), soil moisture and amount of sunlight. Click on Narrow Your Search at the bottom and you will get of list of that type of plant that is recommended for that kind of environment. When you have selected trees, for instance, you go back and do the same search for vines, or grasses. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn about its characteristics, bloom colors and times, etc. and match that up to the features you have. Also, be sure and contact that Field Office, as they will surely have better information on salt water spray resistance. Just offhand, we are going to say we think native grasses would be your best bet for that situation, as they are outstanding with long fibrous roots for erosion control, so be sure to search on grasses. Here are some that looked good to us from the list:

Ammophila breviligulata (American beach grass)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


American beach grass
Ammophila breviligulata

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

More Erosion Control Questions

Virginia creeper in trees
April 26, 2008 - Can Virginia creeper be allowed to climb on trees--specifically Texas ash and live oak--or will it damage them if allowed to attach itself? We are thinking of using it as erosion control in a greenbe...
view the full question and answer

Riverbank Plants for Minnesota
September 04, 2013 - I would like to stablize a steep riverbank slope along the Upper Mississippi in St. Cloud MN. The slopes are almost 1:1. We are using an open cell concrete matt in which we are going to plant native...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hold a slope in Northern New York
December 10, 2009 - I'm looking for native (South shore, Lake Ontario) plants to slow erosion on a steep, 20 foot bank. They don't have to be decorative (although flowering plants are always nice), but they should SPRE...
view the full question and answer

Stopping erosion on bank of a Florida retention pond
July 21, 2015 - I live on a retention pond, which has had all vegetation killed by the lake doctor. As a result the bank has eroded so there is a drop off directly to the water rather than a sloping bank. What plan...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stop erosion in Arizona
January 17, 2009 - I'm looking for a plant to stop erosion; I have big wash outs that are starting to erode my yard so I guess I'm looking for deep rooting plants. I live south of Tucson, Arizona. If you can advise me...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center