Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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
1 rating

Friday - May 08, 2009

From: Leavenworth, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native plants for eroding hillside in Kansas
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

We have a creek running thru our property and the hill running down to it is about 30 feet tall, in some places almost straight down, some sloping. Some is in shade, some full sun. We would like some flowering plants, if possible, that will aid with erosion since the rain water is washing the hillside.

ANSWER:

Your best bet for effective erosion control is definitely grasses because their fibrous roots hold soil very well.  But there's certainly no reason that should stop you from having wildflowers too.  Grasses are not to be underestimated - they provide interest when your flowers aren't blooming and many look great en masse.  You can find a wide variety of native plants that are recommended for your area on our Recommended Species page, where you can also narrow your search to certain characteristics and choose the water and light requirements specific to a spot on your hillside.  Below are some beautiful grasses and a few wildflowers that often grow among grasses.  These plants are native to Kansas and several are known to reseed freely to form colonies.    

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Koeleria macrantha (prairie Junegrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Echinacea angustifolia (blacksamson echinacea)

Liatris pycnostachya (prairie blazing star)

Tradescantia ohiensis (bluejacket)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea)


Schizachyrium scoparium

Koeleria macrantha

Bouteloua curtipendula

Sorghastrum nutans

Echinacea angustifolia

Liatris pycnostachya

Tradescantia ohiensis

Chamaecrista fasciculata

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Ornamental grass next to golf course pond
August 26, 2013 - I need an ornamental grass or shrub that will grow on a terrace next to a golf course pond and be ~ 3' of height. The plant will receive afternoon sun, must survive periodic flooding in the spring an...
view the full question and answer

Foundation Plants for Leander, TX
June 05, 2015 - Looking for suggestions for a narrow bed 2-3 ft. wide, 32 ft. long against my house. Full evening sun with morning shade. Considering Salvia greggii with some type of companion plants/grasses ...
view the full question and answer

Weeds in Habiturf from Austin
May 14, 2012 - We had our old lawn removed, tilled, laid compost, and Habiturf seed spread. I'm not sure if the man we contracted to do the work didn't adequately remove the old weed debris when he prepared the la...
view the full question and answer

What's invading my bermuda grass?
June 11, 2013 - Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is identify it by the description. It is in Bermuda grass and the only way to describe the weed is to say it looks like big...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for a pasture in Hays County, Texas with horses
March 20, 2015 - I intend to sow grass seed over a few acres of pasture on which I'll have a couple of horses in Driftwood, TX. I'd like to know what variety of seed(s) would be most beneficial to the land - and th...
view the full question and answer

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