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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 16, 2007

From: Harpers Ferry, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion preventing plants for West Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and I've got a hillside that's too steep to mow. I'd like to put in plants that other than weeding and regular tending, will take off and hold the dirt. My home is in the woods and the hill gets full sun. It's rocky soil, but there is dirt. Can you please suggest some plants that can be encouraged to take off? Thank-you.

ANSWER:

Grasses are excellent plants to prevent erosion because the extensive fibrous root systems that they develop work well holding the soil in place. Grasses could help get the soil stabilized for adding shrubs, subshrubs, and perennials. The plants recommended below are native to your area and grow in full sun under dry conditions.

Grasses and Sedges

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bromus kalmii (arctic brome)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Shrubs and Subshrubs

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Juniperus communis (common juniper)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf red blackberry)

Perennials

Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Pityopsis graminifolia var. graminifolia (narrowleaf silkgrass)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bromus kalmii

Carex texensis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Juniperus communis

Rubus pubescens

Antennaria plantaginifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Pityopsis graminifolia var. graminifolia

 


 

More Erosion Control Questions

Groundcover for foot traffic in dry shade from Prineville OR
May 12, 2013 - I live in central Oregon. I have an area under a large elm tree that slopes on all sides and has lots of foot traffic and no sun. (my kids have a swing in the tree and play around it a lot.) It's a v...
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in arid region
September 29, 2008 - In semi arid south west (Phoenix), the drainage is managed by creating incised channels. Typically, the dirt channel can erode with even very low velocities of moving water. To reduce erosion therefor...
view the full question and answer

Preventing Soil Erosion in Elgin, Texas
June 06, 2011 - I live in Elgin,TX and our property is basically a slope with dense oak and cedar trees on the back of the property. The soil is sandy loam. What type of native plants or grasses can I plant to stop...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control plants for Burleson TX
August 28, 2010 - I live just outside of Fort Worth and I have an area of my yard that is steeply sloped. I would like some type of plant or grass that can be used to control erosion and not need to be cut too often, i...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling plants for a shady Minnesota lakeside
August 11, 2015 - I live about 50 yards from a lake and there is a steep embankment. Recently someone decided to cut the trees off the embankment and now the dirt is eroding off the embankment as well as off my back ya...
view the full question and answer

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