Native Flowers for Erosion Control

edlincoln(6A)September 29, 2012

I'm looking for Native Plants that can be planted on a cliff/bank. The area has acidic sandy & salty soil with patches of clay and gravel.

Ideally I want Native plants that have flowers for decoration and fruit for wildlife. Ideally it should fight erosion. Ideally It should be Native.

It's for a relative, so I wouldn't be there to regularly water it.

Someone suggested Red Chokeberry, but that has a weedy reputation in my area.

Beach Pea has been suggested, but it seems hard to find.

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I would think that anything that suckers or tip-roots would be good, which would give you Cornus sericea (red osier dogwood), some of the viburnums, Running serviceberry, elderberry, clethra, itea - I know there are more, but those came right to mind. Even though they have no flowers per se, the native willows are excellent for erosion control, and have their own beauty (and are quite popular for larval food for many butterflies) - some have showy catkins early in the year.

I don't know how any of these would do in your soil - I'd recommend looking around the area and see what's doing well there already, or be sure to get species that are native to your particular area - the USDA Plants database can help with that.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Elderberry is a good suggestion...I'd been thinking of that. Hadn't thought of service berry.

What can survive in salty sandy soil and gravel is the big limitation.

As or what grows there now...most Eastern Red ceder, beach roses (possibly rugosa rose, not sure), grass, and poison ivy.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:59PM
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Maybe try partridge pea? I always see it in low quality gravelly locations, it can take a lot. It fixes nitrogen and is not bad looking, too.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:50PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

As miserable as poison ivy is for us humans, it is highly valued by wildlife as a food source. And it is tough as nails as a ground cover. Unless there will be predictable human traffic through the area, I'd vote for keeping the PI.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 3:18PM
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