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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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Thursday - May 10, 2012

From: Bartlesville, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant
Title: Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?

ANSWER:

Free advice?   Right here!   We have a list of recommended species for Oklahoma.  Each of the plants there can be checked for how well they do in shade and damp conditions.  I also found several previous Mr Smarty Plants answers to questions about erosion control.  Here is a very complete answer to a quite similar question to yours from Tulsa.  This question/answer concerns erosion control on a creekside,  and here are two from Kansas dealing with erosion control and with a hillside in Kansas.

Mr Smarty Plants thinks the answer to the person from Tulsa was both pretty appropriate and complete, so I reviewed those suggestions for the growing conditions for the plants recommended, which can be found in the lower part of the plant record.

Good Choices would include:

Groundcovers - Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox) [wet – partial shade], Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) [sun & wet or dry], and Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Grass or grass-like - Carex texensis (Texas sedge) [part sun & moist], Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) [[part shade and shade – moist], and Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass) [part shade & moist]

and, of course, Ferns [all of which like shady & moist or wet conditions] - Adiantum pedatum (Northern maidenhair), Argyrochosma dealbata (False cloak fern)Athyrium filix-femina (Common ladyfern), Botrychium virginianum (Rattlesnake fern), and Dryopteris marginalis (Marginal woodfern).

Returning to "Are there any free advice/plants available?"   Free advice is easy, but may be worth what you pay for it [Yours truly excepted of course!]. Free plants is a bit harder, perhaps the best sources for both advice and plants would be either a local plant group or the Oklahoma State Extension.  I found links to the Oklahoma Native Plant Society at the University of Science and Arts or at what appears to be their own webpage.  Here is a larger list of garden groups in Oklahoma.

For the Extension Office, I suspect the Washington County office in Dewey may be closer, but the Osage County office in Pahuska may be preferable to you.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Texas bluegrass
Poa arachnifera

Northern maidenhair fern
Adiantum pedatum

Common lady fern
Athyrium filix-femina

Marginal woodfern
Dryopteris marginalis

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