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Erosion Control Plant

 
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I am looking for a plant that will help with erosion on a slope. The land is in central Texas. The plant would need to be able to handle shade, slightly alkaline soil, and low water. It would be a plus if it produced edible fruit or could fix nitrogen. Would any of you have suggestions?
 
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Location: Central Chile (zone 8-9?)
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Hi Billy

Ice Plant comes to mind. It is a succulent native to South Africa (or some say South America). According to Wiki, it is invasive in many places. Here in Chile they use it on virtually every road cut for natural stabilization. It occurs as well on the beach on dunes.  

It does have:
Draught tolerant
Edible leaves
Edible fruit

It does not fix nitrogen, and I have no clue about shade tolerance and alkalinic soils.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpobrotus_edulis

cheers
Lukas
 
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Location: East of England
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I know some people your way consider it 'invasive' but wasn't autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) originally planted for erosion control? Edible fruit, N-fixing and tolerates less fertile soils. It does apparently spread though so you may not be popular. This is a cultural thing, of course - in the UK we don't have the (perceived) problem so one could plant it without being criticised. If you're after a more definitely shade tolerant plant than E. ebbingei meets the same criteria.

Edit: This useful thread - https://permies.com/t/37500/Nitrogen-Fixing-Species-Agroforestry-Systems came up underneath in 'similar threads' and is a) really interesting and b) in the OP has a nice summary of some Elaeagnus plants as N-fixers.
 
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Lukas Rohrbach wrote:Hi Billy

Ice Plant comes to mind. It is a succulent native to South Africa (or some say South America). According to Wiki, it is invasive in many places. Here in Chile they use it on virtually every road cut for natural stabilization. It occurs as well on the beach on dunes.  

It does have:
Draught tolerant
Edible leaves
Edible fruit

It does not fix nitrogen, and I have no clue about shade tolerance and alkalinic soils.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpobrotus_edulis

cheers
Lukas



the iceplant mentioned here, sometimes called "hottentot fig" is indeed edible and drought tolerant, but it's erosion prevention qualities have proven slightly underwhelming after 30+ years of use (introduced extensively here in California; we're now ripping out and replacing with more (presumably) "effective" strategies)

That being said, i don't have firsthand knowledge of something quantitatively better.  a lot of people here advocate Vetiver Grass for this purpose.


Are you looking for primarily ground cover plants, or shrub/trees?
 
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The shade aspect is throwing me off. Lavender would be great on sloped, low water, alkaline areas. I see many vineyards transitioning to lavender fields as they are easy to grow for us.

Bluebonnets come to mind also as evident by our roadsides. It fixes nitrogen but i am unsure of its life cycle. Does it die and reseed or is it a perrenial with roots year round?

A combo of the two could be pretty dramatic visually.
 
Billy Blankenship
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Dustin, I looked up Vetiver Grass and I think I might go with this. Thank you.
 
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