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 Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for under live oak in Mississippi
August 26, 2013 - I need a non-invasive ground cover to plant under my live oak.
view the full question and answer

What to plant between patio flagstones in Austin, TX?
May 16, 2011 - I would like to plant something between my flagstones on the patio. Something that doesn't require a lot of water, low growing, and can stand a little to moderate traffic. It is in a shade to partly...
view the full question and answer

Removal of bramble under live oaks and replacing with groundcover
September 26, 2007 - We have several large live oaks on the front of our 12 acre property in Hockley, Texas. Under and around each oak is an extensive amount of bramble which we would like to remove so that we can enjoy ...
view the full question and answer

Locating free tumbled glass for mulch in Austin
October 31, 2008 - Do you know where tumbled glass can be obtained for free in Austin? You've used it as a mulch at the Center. Someone in one of my Native U classes mentioned that it can be gotten free somewhere in ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for area with impact from rain from roof
June 25, 2010 - The small garden on the side of my townhouse gets some hard rainfall during every storm. We've found ways of redirecting and using much of the rainfall (gutter and downspout to rain barrel, permeable...
view the full question and answer

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