Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
1 rating

Thursday - September 03, 2009

From: Port Tobacco, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants for erosion control in southern Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Would you recommend a plant that would act as erosion control for woodlands in Southern Maryland? The soil has a high clay content with a mature hardwoods population.The current erosion is significant and I am hoping to plant something soon to reduce the damage.

ANSWER:

Grasses are excellent plants to curb erosion because of their extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil in place.  Since you are talking about a woodland setting with mature hardwoods, you will need to consider plants that will tolerate shade or partial shade. Here are some possibilities:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Along with the grasses you could add some groundcovers that do well in a partially shaded woodland setting. Here are some that are recommended for Maryland:

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny-spurge)

Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)

Phlox subulata (moss phlox)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Andropogon virginicus

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Paspalum floridanum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Pachysandra procumbens

Chrysogonum virginianum

Phlox subulata

Gaultheria procumbens

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Native plants for erosion control in South Dakota
December 04, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota at about 5000 feet ASL. My house is on a steep hill. I had to clear a perimeter around my house of all the pine trees for fire supp...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control Shrubs and Groundcovers for Steep NY Wooded Slope
November 28, 2015 - I need to cover a couple of very steep slopes in upstate New York that are partially wooded and near a brook. The slopes are about 130 feet back from the brook. Someone estimated that there is a coupl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
July 12, 2011 - What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Raised beds over lateral lines in Solgohachia AR
January 02, 2010 - I would like to build raised flower beds over my lateral lines. They would be planted with strawberries and perennials. Will this cause any problems with the absorption into the ground or not lettin...
view the full question and answer

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