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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.

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Thursday - April 16, 2009

From: Brookings, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Flowering plant for hillside in Brookings OR
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We live on the Chetco river and the bank in front of the house is on a hill. What would be a flowering plant that would maintain the integrity of the hill?


There are a number of nice, low-growing or sprawling shrubs that grow naturally in Curry County, Oregon that would bloom and some even provide berries for birds or people. If you have a large space on your hillside that needs retention and erosion control, these would probably be the best bet. If, on the other hand, it is a gentle slope and not very large in area, you might choose instead to have a wildflower meadow, including lots of native grasses. Grasses are the best tools in preventing erosion because they have long fibrous roots that can grab and hold the soil, are attractive, some of them year round, and provide nesting materials and seeds for the birds. Read our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening and we will give you a list of flowers and grasses native to Oregon that we feel would work well there, too. Follow the plant links to individual pages for each plant to learn how high they will grow, how much they will spread, colors and time of bloom, etc. These plants are all commercially available. If you have difficulty locating your choices, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type in your town and state and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape and environment consultants in your general area. 

Native shrubs for hillside in Oregon

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita) - fire resistant, often used in erosion control

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Baccharis pilularis (coyotebrush)

Ceanothus integerrimus (deerbrush)

Ceanothus velutinus (snowbrush ceanothus)

Ericameria nauseosa ssp. nauseosa (rubber rabbitbrush) - excellent for holding soil, but considered noxious weed on rangelands.

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry)

Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry)

Grasses for a meadow garden in Oregon

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Deschampsia cespitosa

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Perennial herbaceous blooming plants for meadow garden in Oregon

Anaphalis margaritacea (western pearly everlasting)

Arnica cordifolia (heartleaf arnica) - pictures

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium (fireweed)

Erigeron compositus (cutleaf daisy)

Gaillardia aristata (common gaillardia)

Luetkea pectinata (partridgefoot)

Lupinus sericeus (silky lupine)

Minuartia obtusiloba (twinflower sandwort)

Arctostaphylos patula

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Baccharis pilularis

Ceanothus integerrimus

Ceanothus velutinus

Mahonia repens

Rubus spectabilis

Calamagrostis canadensis

Carex stipata

Deschampsia cespitosa

Elymus canadensis

Anaphalis margaritacea

Arnica cordifolia

Campanula rotundifolia

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium

Erigeron compositus

Gaillardia aristata

Luetkea pectinata

Lupinus sericeus

Minuartia obtusiloba







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