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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - September 22, 2012

From: San Carlos, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Erosion Control, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for hill with erosion in San Carlos, CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What wildflowers would you suggest for our hills that have erosion, low ground cover in San Carlos, California?

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita and Escondido, California, has an article, Simple erosion control for a hillside or garden slope, that offers advice and native plants for such a situation.   At the end of article are lists of recommended plants.  Some of these are herbs (wildflowers) and some are woody plants that are generally low-growing groundcovers.  Not all the plants on the list are native to San Mateo County but here are some of those that are shown to occur in San Mateo County or adjacent counties:

Artemisia californica (Coastal sagebrush) is evergreen and especially useful for erosion control.  Bay Natives in San Francisco has several varieties available.

Salvia sonomensis (Creeping sage).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside, CA and Bay Natives in San Francisco.

Ceanothus griseus (Carmel ceanothus).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery about the cultivar 'Yankee Point'

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) is evergreen and deer resistant.  Here is information about the cultivar 'Pigeon Point' from Yerba Buena NurseryBay Natives in San Francisco also has several varieties.

Eriogonum umbellatum (Sulphur-flower buckwheat)Yerba Buena Nursery has several varieties.

You can also check our California-Northern Recommended list for more possibilities.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the number of species on the list by, for instance, choosing "Herb" from the General Appearance slot.  To check to see if the plants do occur in San Mateo County, open the species page on the list and then scroll down the page to the Additional Resources area and click on the USDA link.   On the USDA Plant page click on the state of California and you will find a county distribution map.

Here are a few examples from that list:

Collinsia heterophylla (Purple chinese houses).  Here is  more information from Bay Natives.

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Layia platyglossa (Coastal tidytips).  Here is more information from University of Oklahoma Department of Botany and Microbiology.

Lupinus albifrons (Silver lupine).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside and Bay Natives in San Francisco are two nurseries that specialize in native California plants in your area.   You can find additional nurseries that specialize in native plants near you by consulting our National Suppliers Directory.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Coastal sagebrush
Artemisia californica

Creeping sage
Salvia sonomensis

Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Sulphur-flower buckwheat
Eriogonum umbellatum

Purple chinese houses
Collinsia heterophylla

California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Coastal tidytips
Layia platyglossa

Silver lupine
Lupinus albifrons

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