native ground cover for steep slope in SW Illinois - Knowledgebase Question

Alton, Il
Question by pako8
February 23, 2011
South-facing slope about 90' X 12' needs dense coverage, prefer native non-invasive. Will use NO herbicides in preparation of the area; no current erosion on the slope. In Illinois near the Mississippi R, just North of St Louis MO. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
February 23, 2011


Bearberry, Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a native creeping, sun-loving plant with tiny, dark green, leathery leaves. Small, urn-shaped, white flowers appear from April to June, followed by small, persistent red fruits in August. Grow in sun or part shade in well-drained acid soils.

Others to consider include: Japanese Winter Creeper (Euonymus fortunei)-A trailing or climbing ground cover for sun or shade. Plants are 6-12 inches tall as a ground cover and can climb or spread 40-50 feet. The 1-inch dark green leaves are thick and leathery. [Euonymus fortunei 'Sarcoxie'].

Coralbells (Heuchera spp.)- A native ground cover forming broad, 12-18-inch tall clumps with heart-shaped leaves. Small, airy, creamy white, greenish, or red to pink flowers appear on slender stalks in late spring to early summer. Numerous selections available with a wide array of foliage colors and patterns.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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