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

Sunday - August 19, 2012

From: Fairview, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Slope Erosion control for Fairview NC
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Please recommend plants to help with soil erosion on a slope. The soil is red clay and area gets full sun. The slope is approximately 12' x 12'. I live in Fairview, NC

ANSWER:

That’s a small area!   As a general approach, the best plants to stabilize a slope and prevent erosion are plants like grasses that have fibrous root systems and shrubs and perennials that spread with runners to form thickets.  For that area, one or two shrubs at most would fit. 

Here are two previous answers that will give you an idea of some choices.  This one is a very similar earlier question about a NC creek bank.  This one concerns erosion control near Charlotte.

From those two messages we can recommend these grasses for full sun and clay soil:   Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem),  Carex texensis (Texas sedge),  Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem),  Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

I also like to scan native plants that might add for this specific situation in addition to those suggested previously.  Here is a link to the North Carolina Collection, these collections are lists of natives to your aea that can be sorted for certain characteristics. Here is a selection of wildflowers; these should help anchor the slope while also adding some seasonal color:
Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)
Baptisia australis (Blue wild indigo)
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

 

From the Image Gallery


Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Blue wild indigo
Baptisia australis

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX
May 25, 2013 - I am trying to replace some maiden grasses that died during the drought. I want an evergreen grass or something soft looking to replace them. I want something that is native and 5 to 6 feet tall to ...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for wildlife in Katrina recovery area of Louisiana
June 21, 2009 - I live in La in an area decimated by Katrina and want to establish 11 acres of wildlife friendly native short grasses. It is partly designated wetlands because it floods, but also has long periods wi...
view the full question and answer

Native, durable, drought tolerant grasses for Amarillo, TX
May 13, 2005 - Are there any kinds of native grasses that are drought tolerant, durable and able to survive heavy foot traffic, and native to the Amarillo, Texas area?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center