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

Monday - July 02, 2012

From: Willits, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plantings for sides of retention pond in Willits CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for recommendations for ground cover for the outside of embankments which impound wastewater. This is to improve the aesthetics and deter weeds. The slopes are 1V:2H, so if we can avoid mowing or weed-eating that would be best. Low to moderate water demand would be desirable. Also, this is in full sun. The areas would be bounded by a variety of conditions: native grasses (wetland and upland), AC pavement, concrete, gravel road.

ANSWER:

We believe that you are talking about what we call a retention pond. This is a subject we have dealt with before in various parts of the country. Please read them and follow all the links to more information.

North Carolina -  This answer has many other links to both professional papers and previous answers.

We will take you to our Native Plant Database and give you a list of grasses native to the area of Mendocino County, California. To do this, we will use the Combination Search, entering California, grass or grasslike for Habit, and sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) for Light Requirements. You will then know how to use the database and can make your own selections, possibly selecting small shrubs or even herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) under Habit for variety. You will note on that Combination Search that you can select the Soil Moisture, expected height of plant and even bloom time and color. Each selection you make, of course, will decrease the number of choices you have. It's a great database, but the magic function is out of order. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn the propagation, size and growing conditions of that plant.

Grasses for Mendocina Co., CA

Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (Silver beard grass)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wild rye)

Nassella viridula (Green needlegrass)

Phalaris arundinacea (Reed canarygrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Typha latifolia (Broadleaf cattail)

 

From the Image Gallery


Indian ricegrass
Achnatherum hymenoides

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Silver beard grass
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Green needlegrass
Nassella viridula

Reed canarygrass
Phalaris arundinacea

Splitbeard bluestem
Andropogon ternarius

Broadleaf cattail
Typha latifolia

More Erosion Control Questions

Riverbank retention in VA
March 26, 2012 - I need some groundcover/bank retention for a Virginia riverbank in mixed sun and shade. I want to plant something native to VA. the area is out of the water but subject to occasional (4-5 times per y...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control from Lakeland FL
November 03, 2012 - What native Ground cover is best for erosion control on slope of lake-front? Prefer not too invasive for this northern facing area behind a seawall and near large Oak tree.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a hillside in WI
February 18, 2012 - I live in Wisconsin and am currently doing a research project on plant variation on the north and south sides of a hill. I was wondering you could suggest any books to me that would address this issue...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
September 26, 2012 - I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Pittsburgh PA
April 25, 2013 - I have a similar question to one from SC. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. We have a steep slope behind a newly built in pool. What type of plants can I put on the hillside to hold the soil. It gets a ...
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