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

Monday - July 02, 2012

From: Willits, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plantings for sides of retention pond in Willits CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for recommendations for ground cover for the outside of embankments which impound wastewater. This is to improve the aesthetics and deter weeds. The slopes are 1V:2H, so if we can avoid mowing or weed-eating that would be best. Low to moderate water demand would be desirable. Also, this is in full sun. The areas would be bounded by a variety of conditions: native grasses (wetland and upland), AC pavement, concrete, gravel road.

ANSWER:

We believe that you are talking about what we call a retention pond. This is a subject we have dealt with before in various parts of the country. Please read them and follow all the links to more information.

North Carolina -  This answer has many other links to both professional papers and previous answers.

We will take you to our Native Plant Database and give you a list of grasses native to the area of Mendocino County, California. To do this, we will use the Combination Search, entering California, grass or grasslike for Habit, and sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) for Light Requirements. You will then know how to use the database and can make your own selections, possibly selecting small shrubs or even herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) under Habit for variety. You will note on that Combination Search that you can select the Soil Moisture, expected height of plant and even bloom time and color. Each selection you make, of course, will decrease the number of choices you have. It's a great database, but the magic function is out of order. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn the propagation, size and growing conditions of that plant.

Grasses for Mendocina Co., CA

Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (Silver beard grass)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wild rye)

Nassella viridula (Green needlegrass)

Phalaris arundinacea (Reed canarygrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Typha latifolia (Broadleaf cattail)

 

From the Image Gallery


Indian ricegrass
Achnatherum hymenoides

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Silver beard grass
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Green needlegrass
Nassella viridula

Reed canary grass
Phalaris arundinacea

Splitbeard bluestem
Andropogon ternarius

Broadleaf cattail
Typha latifolia

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Alternative for sedges for turf-like lawn in shade
October 25, 2013 - When it comes to a turf-like lawn in shade, is it pretty much sedges or nothing among native options? By the way, I write from up north here in Iowa. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Sowing native grass seeds in July in Georgetown TX
July 06, 2010 - I have a bare patch of soil behind my house. Can I sow native grass seeds now?
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for plants under sugar maple (Acer saccharum) tree
March 12, 2011 - We have an area under sugar maple trees and near white pines. We cannot get any grass to grow. There is little moisture and no sun in the summer. We live 25 miles north of Nashville, TN. Can you r...
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant plants for Paradise, California
January 23, 2009 - We are moving to a new home in Paradise, CA. What drought resistant plants do well in Paradise ? Thank you !!
view the full question and answer

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