(PDF version of this document)

This seed mix is designed for the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area in general and can be used along the banks and floodplains of local streams. Note that sites vary from place to place and contain a variety of habitats that require different seed mixes. For example, creek banks are generally dry, but do have a moisture gradient from the top to the slope to the creek edge. And the floodplain areas are often more moist, particularly where swales occur.

Use a mixture of at least 4 to 7 different plant species, mixing grasses and forbs, for best results. A combination of the plants listed below should provide the range of species necessary for successful soil stabilization. A quick-germinating native, Virginia wild rye (Elymus virginicus), will rapidly stabilize the site, and can be planted in conjunction with other natives that are slower to germinate.

DO NOT plant Lespedeza cuneata (sericea lespedeza) or any other non-native Lespedeza species, and do not plant non-native fescue. These non-natives might be excellent at soil stabilization, but they persist and out-compete natives, and have a negative effect on wildlife.

Plant species recommendations. Most if not all of these are locally available from Mellow Marsh Farm or Ernst Conservation Seeds.

Grasses:

  • Dicanthelium clandestinium – deer tongue
  • Sorgastrum nutans – Indiangrass
  • Agrostis stolonifera – creeping bentgrass
  • Chasmanthium latifolium – river oats
  • Schizachyrium scoparium – little bluestem
  • Tripsacum dactyloides – gamma grass
  • Panicum anceps (=Coleataenia anceps) – beaked panic grass
Forbs:

  • Rudbeckia hirta – black-eyed susan
  • Desmodium canadense – showy tick trefoil
  • Coreopsis lanceolata – Lance-leaf tickseed
  • Chamaecrista fasiculata – Partrige pea
  • Bidens aristosa – Begger ticks
  • Vernonia novoboracensis – ironweed
  • Helianthus angustifolius – narrow-leaved sunflower
Sowing rates are not provided, but a rule of thumb is to plant approximately 20-25 lbs/acre that includes 15% Virginia wild rye in order to facilitate rapid stabilization.