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         Plants for Erosion Control / Slope Stabilization 

When selecting plants for erosion control or slope stabilization it is important to use fast growing species that have root systems that will “hold” the soil in place.  Heavy plants are not recommended for slope control because their dense foliage can actually contribute to slope erosion.  For example, ice plants (Carpobrotus sp., Drosanthemum sp., etc.) are a poor choice for slope control because their shallow root systems cannot hold their heavy leaves.  If you live in an area with a high risk of fire, it is also important to determine whether or not a particular plant has been approved by the fire department as a fire-safe plant. This list does include some species that are not approved for fire zone areas. All of the listed species, however, are lightweight, have fibrous root systems and provide great coverage for slopes.  California native species have been indicated with an asterisk; however, you can click here for a list of only California natives.


Taxonomic Name

Common Name

Acacia redolens


*Adenostoma fasciculatum 


*Arctostaphylos edmundsii

Little Sur Manzanita

*Arctostaphylos edmundsii ‘Carmel Sur' 

Little Sur Manzanita Selection 

*Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet’ 

Manzanita Hybrid 

*Arctostaphylos u. ‘Point Reyes’ 


*Artemisia californica

California Sagebrush

*Artemisia California ‘Canyon Gray’ 

California Sagebrush Selection 

*Atriplex lentiformis brewerii 

Quail Bush 

*Baccharis pilularis

Coyote Brush

*Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’

Coyote Brush Selection

*Ceanothus griseus hor. ‘Yankee Point’ 

Wild Lilac Selection 

*Ceanothus ‘Joyce Coulter’

Wild Lilac Hybrid

*Ceanothus maritimus 

Maritime Ceanothus 

*Ceanothus spinosus

Greenbark Ceanothus

Cistus ‘Santa Cruz'


Cistus pulverulentus ‘Sunset’


Cistus purpureus 


Cistus skanbergii

Pink Rockrose

Echium fastuosum

Pride of Madeira

*Eriogonum fasciculatum

California Buckwheat

*Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Bruce Dickinson’ 

Prostrate California Buckwheat

*Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Dana Point' 

California Buckwheat Selection

*Eriogonum giganteum

St. Catherine’s Lace

*Eriogonum parvifolium

Coast Buckwheat

*Heteromeles arbutifolia


*Iva hayesiana

Poverty Weed 

*Juglans californica

California Walnut

Lantana species


*Lessingia ‘Silver Carpet’


*Mahonia repens (Shade Areas)  

Creeping Barberry 

*Malosma laurina (Rhus laurina) 

Laurel Sumac

Myoporum ‘Pacificum’


*Myrica californica 

Pacific Wax Myrtle 

*Rhamnus crocea


*Rhamnus crocea ilicifolia 

Holly-Leaf Redberry

*Rhus integrifolia

Lemonade Berry

*Rhus ovata

Sugar Bush

*Ribes viburnifolium (Shade Areas)

Evergreen Currant

Rosmarinus o. ‘Prostratus’  


*Salvia apiana

White Sage

*Salvia clevelandii

Cleveland Sage

*Salvia leucophylla

Purple Sage

*Salvia leucophylla ‘Point Sal’

Purple Sage Selection 

*Salvia mellifera

Black Sage

*Salvia mellifera ‘Terra Seca’

Black Sage Selection 

*Symphoricarpos mollis


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This page was last updated on 01/15/2009