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

Saturday - September 22, 2012

From: San Carlos, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Erosion Control, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for hill with erosion in San Carlos, CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What wildflowers would you suggest for our hills that have erosion, low ground cover in San Carlos, California?

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita and Escondido, California, has an article, Simple erosion control for a hillside or garden slope, that offers advice and native plants for such a situation.   At the end of article are lists of recommended plants.  Some of these are herbs (wildflowers) and some are woody plants that are generally low-growing groundcovers.  Not all the plants on the list are native to San Mateo County but here are some of those that are shown to occur in San Mateo County or adjacent counties:

Artemisia californica (Coastal sagebrush) is evergreen and especially useful for erosion control.  Bay Natives in San Francisco has several varieties available.

Salvia sonomensis (Creeping sage).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside, CA and Bay Natives in San Francisco.

Ceanothus griseus (Carmel ceanothus).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery about the cultivar 'Yankee Point'

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) is evergreen and deer resistant.  Here is information about the cultivar 'Pigeon Point' from Yerba Buena NurseryBay Natives in San Francisco also has several varieties.

Eriogonum umbellatum (Sulphur-flower buckwheat)Yerba Buena Nursery has several varieties.

You can also check our California-Northern Recommended list for more possibilities.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the number of species on the list by, for instance, choosing "Herb" from the General Appearance slot.  To check to see if the plants do occur in San Mateo County, open the species page on the list and then scroll down the page to the Additional Resources area and click on the USDA link.   On the USDA Plant page click on the state of California and you will find a county distribution map.

Here are a few examples from that list:

Collinsia heterophylla (Purple chinese houses).  Here is  more information from Bay Natives.

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Layia platyglossa (Coastal tidytips).  Here is more information from University of Oklahoma Department of Botany and Microbiology.

Lupinus albifrons (Silver lupine).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside and Bay Natives in San Francisco are two nurseries that specialize in native California plants in your area.   You can find additional nurseries that specialize in native plants near you by consulting our National Suppliers Directory.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Coastal sagebrush
Artemisia californica

Creeping sage
Salvia sonomensis

Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Sulphur-flower buckwheat
Eriogonum umbellatum

Purple chinese houses
Collinsia heterophylla

California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Coastal tidytips
Layia platyglossa

Silver lupine
Lupinus albifrons

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in VA
March 05, 2011 - Looking for a plant to prevent erosion on a riverbank on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Prefer something low, bank is a bit steep for regular mowing but could be mowed infrequently. Riverbank h...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

Erosion blanket question from Antimony UT
August 03, 2011 - I want to use an erosion control blanket for a hill and want to know what type I should purchase that would allow planting seeds and them growing up through the blanket
view the full question and answer

Landscaping on South Padre Island
June 07, 2008 - I'm in charge of landscaping at my beachfront condo in South Padre Island and find the wind, salt air, and heat challenging for growing almost anything. We would like to incorporate native plants, b...
view the full question and answer

Plant for Erosion Control on Wooded Slope in MD
May 19, 2015 - We are looking for a plant to help with erosion control on a wooded slope next to our drive. The roots of several of the trees are exposed like a shelf, so I think it's a fairly severe problem. We ar...
view the full question and answer

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