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
3 ratings

Wednesday - June 04, 2008

From: Railroad, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and stones continues to erode (and now the stones are falling!). Please help me identify perennials (preferably native) that can be planted around the pond and streambank. The location of the pond is in the front yard near the road, so I would like something hardy, maybe evergreen, with color and varying heights... is my wish list out of reach? Thanks! Caroline

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that we can help you find plants to fill your wish list. First of all, here are several native evergreen plants, with different forms, that will grow in wet and/or moist soils in Pennsylvania:

Evergreens

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Carex intumescens (bladder sedge)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry) with a photo from Nearctica.com

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Pyrola asarifolia (liverleaf wintergreen)

Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)

You can see a list of plants native to Pennsylvania that grow in wet soils by visiting our Native Plant Database and doing a Combination Search, choosing 'Pennsylvania' from All states and provinces and 'Wet' from Soil moisture. There are other options for selection, also. Here are a few from the list that will add color and interest to your pond area and help stop the erosion.

Acorus calamus (calamus)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Iris versicolor (harlequin blueflag)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis (royal fern)

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)


Equisetum hyemale

Polystichum acrostichoides

Gaultheria procumbens

Pyrola asarifolia

Andromeda polifolia

Acorus calamus

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Iris versicolor

Lobelia siphilitica

Lobelia cardinalis

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis

Andropogon glomeratus

 

 

 



 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Looking for grasses for slope around retention pond in Florida
August 02, 2011 - I live in St. Petersburg, FL on a large retention pond. Most of my neighbors on the pond have seawalls. I do not nor do my neighbors to my left and right. I am interested in colorful grasses to put...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for slope to detention pond
August 09, 2008 - We have been required by code to build a detention pond for new church buildings in the Webster, TX (Clear Lake) area. There is a serious erosion of soil from water runoff from the building roof need...
view the full question and answer

Water eroding corner in Austin
October 25, 2011 - I live close to the Wildflower Center. My yard slopes - as do my neighbors' yards to one corner in my yard. The result is constant moisture in one corner. The rest of the yard is caliche, rocks (m...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
June 11, 2010 - Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
view the full question and answer

Need Native Plants for Ditch Stabilization in Texarkana, Arkansas
September 14, 2010 - I live in Texarkana, Arkansas. I have a ditch near the street in my front yard that is approximately 90-100 ft. long. It gets full sun. There is a lot of clay and rocks in the ditch. I need to fin...
view the full question and answer

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