Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 11, 2013

From: Northwood, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Shrubs, Vines
Title: Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?

ANSWER:

There are plenty of native shrubs and a few vines that are good potential plants for your steep slope. The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: New Hampshire, Habit – vine and shrub, Duration – perennial, Light requirement – sun, and Soil moisture – dry (because of the slope).
Some of the more drought and sun tolerant vine and shrub possibilities that could be used as steep slope groundcover plants include:
Clematis virginiana (Devil’s darning needles) fine-textured vine to 15 ft. A profusion of small white flowers in summer followed by a plume-like feathery achene.

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark) rounded shrub to 10 ft, white clusters of blooms, yellow fall color.

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) spreading shrub to 12 ft. Vibrant fall color, dark red berries that persist into winter.

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) colony forming to 20 ft. Bright red berries in clusters that persist into winter.

Rosa acicularis (prickly rose) shrub up to 4 ft. Whitish-pink blooms June-July, smooth red hips follow.

Rosa blanda (smooth rose) nearly thornless, pale pink to white blooms June –August , spreads vigorously by root suckers.
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (grayleaf red raspberry) 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide, produces edible red fruit.

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry) forms broad colonies, black edible fruit.

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry) to 5 ft tall, small pinkish-white blooms are followed by round white fruit.

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum) to 6 ft tall and 4 ft wide, clusters of white flowers are followed by blue-black berried.  

 

From the Image Gallery


Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Prickly rose
Rosa acicularis

Smooth rose
Rosa blanda

Grayleaf red raspberry
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Black raspberry
Rubus occidentalis

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

Mapleleaf viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium

More Shrubs Questions

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Manzanita Not Growing Well
July 11, 2016 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I have a four native Dr. Hurd manzanitas growing in my yard, which I planted three years ago. Three seem quite happy with lots of foliage. The fourth has foliage only on this ye...
view the full question and answer

Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
June 15, 2012 - Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive r...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for shrub in Florida
September 03, 2011 - On our street we have ornamental shrub planted in the median that has small waxy green leaves, produces small fragrant white flowers, and red berries with white pulp and small seeds on the inside. Th...
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
April 07, 2012 - Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.