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

Tuesday - August 06, 2013

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Erosion tolerant plants for shade from Kerrville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have just cleared a lot of cedar out of a small draw and would like to know the best groundcovers, shrubs, etc. to plant to hold the soil. Deep shade most of the day.

ANSWER:

We just answered a very similar question, with one glaring difference - you are looking for shade plants, which may be a real problem. This time we are going to our full Native Plant Database so we will have more possibilities to choose from. We are in hopes that the draw gets some water from time to time and that will assist us in finding plants for your situation. Please read our similar question first, and then we will go to our database and, using the list of specifications on the right-hand side of the page, select on Texas, then "grass or grass-like" for Habit, "dry" for Soil Moisture and both shade (2 hour or less of sun a day) and "part shade" (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) under Light Requirements. After we run that search, we will run additional searches for the Habits of "shrubs" and "herbs' (herbaceous blooming plants) and see what results we get. We have given you 4 possibillities each for Habit. We suggest, since we really don't know enough about the environment where you propose to grow these plants, that you run the searches for yourself. Each time you select a plant, go to our webpage on that plant,  study its light and moisture requirements, then go down the page to Additional Resources. Click on "Find (plant name) in USDA Plants". When you get the map of North America, the green  states on that map record that plant as growing natively. Click on Texas and you will get a map with the counties green where that plant grows. This helps us, and we hope it helps you, determine if the soils, climate and rainfall in your area are appropriate to that plant.

Grass or grasslike plants for shade:

Carex planostachys (Cedar sedge)

Chloris virgata (Feather fingergrass)

Melica nitens (Three-flower melic)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass)

Shrubs for Shade:

Acacia angustissima (Prairie acacia)

Aesculus pavia var. pavia (Scarlet buckeye)

Amorpha roemeriana (Roemer's false indigo)

Baccharis neglecta (False willow)

Herbaceous blooming plants for shade:

Ageratina altissima (White snakeroot)

Amblyolepis setigera (Huisache daisy)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

Feather fingergrass
Chloris virgata

Three-flower melic
Melica nitens

Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima

Prairie acacia
Acaciella angustissima

Scarlet buckeye
Aesculus pavia var. pavia

Roemer's false indigo
Amorpha roemeriana

False willow
Baccharis neglecta

White snakeroot
Ageratina altissima

Huisache daisy
Amblyolepis setigera

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Planting buffalograss from Surfside Beach SC
September 14, 2012 - How do I plant buffalograss along a lake? Do I just spread the seeds?
view the full question and answer

Plants for banks of a retention pond in Alabama
April 24, 2009 - What can we plant on the inner and out walls of a detention pond to stop erosion? The pond is located in a neighborhood in Mobile, AL and the walls are 9 ft high with a steep slope.
view the full question and answer

Phytoremediation using Paspalum vaginatum
February 06, 2015 - Do you know of any on-going research using Paspalum vaginatum as the prime plant (monoculture) for use in phytoremediation. Utilizing this plant in Vegetated Swales, Spreader Swales, Grassy Swales,...
view the full question and answer

What flowers will ducks and swans not eat?
January 11, 2009 - I live by ducks and swans. They love eating my flowers. Any suggestions on what flowering plants they won't eat?
view the full question and answer

Replacing grass with native Texas sedges
March 24, 2005 - I have been trying to grow native Texas sedges instead of grass in my back yard for the last two years. Much of it is shaded by a canopy of elms, juniper, and oak. I have put a local organic fertili...
view the full question and answer

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