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

Saturday - May 17, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover to help ease erosion in shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My house is situated on an embankment near a creek. We are looking for ground cover plants that can help ease the erosion of the embankment without being invasive for the existing trees. They must be able to live in the shade and be native to central Texas. Any ideas? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Your best bets for controlling erosion are grasses. They produce extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil very effectively. Once the area has stabilized you can add wildflowers to grow with the grasses. There are several grasses that will grow in shade or partial shade in the Austin area. It is a little late, however, to grow any of these from seed—you will need to find plugs (small plants) to set out. You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by visiting our National Suppliers Directory.

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Tridens flavus (purpletop tridens)

Sedges are also a good choice.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Eragrostis intermedia

Nassella tenuissima

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tridens flavus

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex planostachys

Carex texensis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Disagreement with HOA on raised beds placed beneath mature oak from Tequesta FL
April 05, 2014 - I have mature 30 year old oak trees on my property and I put a raised bed under each with very good soil and I used pavers for retaining the soil about about 1.5 ft high. I planted a perennial begonia...
view the full question and answer

What habitat would my Antennaria solitaria like in Red Bank, TN?
October 26, 2010 - I want to know what habitat my mystery plant will like- sun, shade, dry or moist. I think it is an Antennaria solitaria or Little Pussytoes. I got it at a native plant sale here in Chattanooga. It has...
view the full question and answer

Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
June 14, 2013 - We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-vascular moss as a lawn from Seattle WA
July 27, 2013 - I have lots of moss in my back yard. How can I encourage it to grow over the whole yard?
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrub for shade in Jacksonville FL
January 17, 2013 - Looking for shrub or hedge ( no Azaleas please )to line front of house that is full time shade in Jacksonville Florida ( something different, on the lines of tropical if possible).
view the full question and answer

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