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Best Plants For Erosion Control

In research conducted by Todd Layt and Ian Paananen, Ozbreed set out to discover the best erosion control plants.

This ongoing study started in 2007 and is being updated constantly as new varieties are tested for their erosion control qualities.

It was found that the best plants for erosion control were Strappy Leaf Plants such as Lomandra, Dianella, Dietes and Agapanthus or Native Grasses like Pennisetum. This is likely due to their extensive root systems, which helps to strengthen the soil.

Top 10 Plants for Erosion Control

#1 King Alfred® Dianella

King Alfred® Dianella is 752% stronger than bare soil
King Alfred® Dianella is 752% stronger than bare soil

#2 Nafray® Pennisetum

Nafray® Dianella is 475% stronger than bare soil
Nafray® Dianella is 475% stronger than bare soil

#3 Lucia™ Dianella

Lucia™ Dianella is 433.75% stronger than bare soil
Lucia™ Dianella is 433.75% stronger than bare soil

#4 Lomandra Katrinus Deluxe

Lomandra 'Katrinus Deluxe' is 366% stronger than bare soil
Lomandra ‘Katrinus Deluxe’ is 366% stronger than bare soil

#5 Nyalla® Lomandra

Nyalla® Lomandra is 328% stronger than bare soil
Nyalla® Lomandra is 328% stronger than bare soil

#6 Fine Divine™ Dietes

Fine Divine™ Dietes is 326% stronger than bare soil
Fine Divine™ Dietes is 326% stronger than bare soil

#7 Breeze® Dianella

Breeze® Dianella is 297% stronger than bare soil
Breeze® Dianella is 297% stronger than bare soil

#8 Katie Belles™ Lomandra

Katie Belles™ Lomandra is 285% stronger than bare soil
Katie Belles™ Lomandra is 285% stronger than bare soil

#9 Agapanthus

The Agapanthus in the trial were 283% stronger than bare soil. This is Queen Mum.
The Agapanthus in the trial were 283% stronger than bare soil. Ozbreed have some great non-invasive Agapanthus choices.

#10 Tasred® Dianella

Tasred® Dianella is 250% stronger than bare soil
Tasred® Dianella is 250% stronger than bare soil

Latest 2021 Study Findings

Plant% Increase vs bare soilShear strength kPa
Fine Divine™ Dietes326%38.5
Grand Star™ Dietes228%26.9
Shara™ Lomandra225%26.2
Evergreen Baby™ Lomandra210%24.8
Pacific Sky™ Lomandra200%23.6
Flat Mat™ Trachelospermum140%16.5

Past Research

Plant% Increase vs bare soilShear strength kPa
King Alfred® Dianella752%70
Nafray® Pennisetum475%50.3
Lucia™ Dianella433.75%49.3
Lomandra Katrinus Deluxe PBR366%39.6
Nyalla® Lomandra328%36.1
Breeze® Dianella297%33.2
Katie Belles™ Lomandra285%32.3
Agapanthus283%32
Tasred® Dianella250%29.6
Tanika® Lomandra250%29.5
Katrinus Lomandra216%26.9
Little Jess™ Dianella181%24.3
Carex appressa176%23.8
Little Rev™ Dianella161%22.8
Tropic Cascade™ Lomandra159%18.6

Research Methodology

Ten large sample pots of each variety were grown and tested with a Shear Vane tester, as were samples grown in two different gardens. 29 shear vane tests were taken for each variety from the pots. The results showed all plants strengthened the soil compared to the control samples of unvegetated potting mix and soil. Increases in soil shear strength were analysed using an ANOVA test. Any variety that showed a 95% or more increase in shear strength was found to be significantly different to the unvegetated samples.

King Alfred® Dianella strengthened the soil 752%, and in this test had an undrained shear strength of 70 kPa, compared to unvegetated soil of 9 kPa. Many other varieties however, still strengthen the soil greatly. Katrinus Deluxe, a Lomandra longifolia, strengthened the soil by 366%. Some plants that are widely used in the USA and Australia, such as Liriope Evergreen Giant had much lower readings, only strengthening the soil a statistically significant 100%.

Varieties improved through breeding all strengthen the soil considerably more than their corresponding common varieties, providing evidence that plant breeding can lead to plants better suited to strengthening soil.

This data can help Engineers, Landscape Architects, and Erosion Control professionals choose plants that better strengthen the soil, and enhance erosion control of slopes, batters, stream embankments, roadsides, retaining walls, and shore lines. It will also provide a basis for future plant breeders to develop plants and turf that better strengthen the soil.

We Don’t Guess, We Test

When you choose an Ozbreed plant, you are backed by over 20 years of breeding experience and an average of 5-10 years of thorough testing on each plant.

If you want to read more about this study, you can download the full research article below.

Todd Layt

Todd grew up on a turf farm where he gained his firsthand experience with turf varieties. He began breeding improved varieties and started Abulk (Turf and Wholesale Nursery) in 1990. Todd’s passion for plants and breeding grew to encompass landscape plants, which led him to start Ozbreed in 2003. Now with over 20 years breeding and marketing experience, he continues to focus on the breeding and research arm of the business.

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