Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Fast-growing ground cover for creekside
May 18, 2014 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Austin Texas and am looking for an aggressively spreading ground cover or grass to plant along a small creek on the back of my property in order to help with soil er...
view the full question and answer

California native bunch grasses good for erosion control
November 21, 2010 - In response to your answer about deep rooted native plants good for erosion control, don't forget to include native bunchgrasses. here in California, our bunchgrasses have roots that go 10ft, 20ft de...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to preserve soil on river bank
May 28, 2006 - I live in eastern Massachusetts. We have a small stream in our backyard and a woodland area on the other side. Japanese Knotweed is pretty well established on the opposite bank of the stream from our ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover plants for erosion problem in Orlando
June 01, 2009 - Hi, I live in Orlando, and have a terrible erosion problem on one side of my back yard. Every time it rains, I lose my yard under the fence! The area is part sun. Can you please suggest a plant or ...
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

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