Contact Us Host an Event 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
2 ratings

Monday - April 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm interested in finding native plants, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a fairly steep slope. These plants would be in a park, and volunteers will be watering the plants. The area is partly shaded. We are considering little bluestem grass for part of the area and wonder if that would be appropriate.

ANSWER:

Native grasses are an excellent plant choice for erosion control because the extensive fibrous root systems that they develop work well holding the soil in place.

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) would certainly be appropriate as well as other native grasses that do well in the shade, such as Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats), Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass), and Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama).

Sedges, such as Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge), Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) or Carex texensis (Texas sedge) as well as the grasslike Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) should also be effective.

You could also add some perennial herbaceous plants (e.g., Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine), Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot), Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage), and Tradescantia occidentalis (prairie spiderwort).

You might also consider installing erosion control blankets to help with the stabilization until the plants are established.


Schizachyrium scoparium

Chasmanthium latifolium

Eragrostis intermedia

Bouteloua curtipendula

Carex blanda

Carex texensis

Nolina texana

Aquilegia canadensis

Melampodium leucanthum

Salvia roemeriana

Tradescantia occidentalis

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stabilize a bank in VT
April 10, 2012 - I am looking for suggestion on what plants might best be suited for aiding in the stabilization of a very steep bank above Lake Champlain.
view the full question and answer

Use of native grasses as erosion control in Austin, TX
June 20, 2006 - We're in Austin, TX and trying to keep our neighborhood lot as natural as possible; however, our lot is eroding and depositing mud and dirt onto the sidewalk whenever it rains. We're looking for an ...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to cover hillside and control erosion in Woodbine, Kentucky
September 18, 2009 - I live in eastern Kentucky. I have a hillside that is full of weeds how do I get rid of the weeds and what can I plant to cover it. This hillside is not walkable. Is there some kind of vine ? There is...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping on South Padre Island
June 07, 2008 - I'm in charge of landscaping at my beachfront condo in South Padre Island and find the wind, salt air, and heat challenging for growing almost anything. We would like to incorporate native plants, b...
view the full question and answer

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