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I need advice on the best plant for my situation. I have a bank that borders a river. At the moment it is overgrown with nettles. I need a plant that will give good cover and stifle the weeds, have a root system that will help bind the soil and in so doing help preserve the bank.
Colour would be nice and the ability to withstand immersion for up to a week at any one time.
Any ideas ?
I find Symphytum officinale, comphrey does that job very well but maybe that's closer to a weed than you want to go. Iris pseudocorus is good as well. and Filipendula ulmaria, meadow sweet. One of the willowherbs, Epilobium hirsutum has a lovely pink flower and spreads nicely.
The comphrey and the willowherb are seeders as well which can be a disadvantage in the rest of the garden. Especially the willowherb that has windblown seeds
It you want something shrubby; willow, cut back regularly if you don't want anything tall, and the coloured stemmed dogwoods will cope with inundation.
I'd kill/remove the nettles for a start though