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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Rocky River, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

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 site is windy half of the area is sunny, the other half shady.

ANSWER:

You will find some really helpful information in this publication by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It is very comprehensive and will guide you with planning and execution.  It also has plant recommendations for trees and shrubs, though not all are actually native Ohio plants. For more information about each plant you can visit our Native Plant Database.

There are no recommendations for herbaceous plants however, which can be excellent for erosion control. Grasses, with their fibrous root systems are especially good at holding a slope, as well as many of the  prairie wildflowers that are native to Ohio.  You can generate lists of plants by doing a Combination Seach on the database selecting: Ohio/plant type (grass or herbaceous plant)/and your light and soil conditions (depending on the location in the windbreak). Each plant name on the list is linked to a detailed information page.

Some recommendations from those lists are:

Grasses

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

 Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Perennials

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Liatris aspera var. intermedia (Intermediate rough gayfeather)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

Oenothera fruticosa ssp. glauca (Narrowleaf evening-primrose)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

American basket-flower
Centaurea americana

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Intermediate rough gayfeather
Liatris aspera var. intermedia

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Narrowleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera fruticosa ssp. glauca

Canada goldenrod
Solidago canadensis

More Shrubs Questions

Need plants for privacy screen and noise reduction in Dallas.
January 07, 2015 - Our backyard is on the north side of our house and is adjacent to the south side of LBJ Freeway (I-635) in Dallas. TXDOT only constructed an 8' concrete wall along our portion of its expanded right-o...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs or trees for privacy shield in Cross Plains TX
March 31, 2009 - I'm looking for a small tree or large bush that will stay green year round to use for a privacy shield. We have electrical lines overhead so I need to keep it a low growing tree or bush that will he...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for shrub in Florida
September 03, 2011 - On our street we have ornamental shrub planted in the median that has small waxy green leaves, produces small fragrant white flowers, and red berries with white pulp and small seeds on the inside. Th...
view the full question and answer

Enough sun from San Marcos TX
February 22, 2013 - I would like to plant both Lantana urticoides and Salvia farinacea in area that only has morning to 1pm sun..Will this amount of sun be enough?
view the full question and answer

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