En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - February 07, 2013

From: Denham Springs, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Water Gardens, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Tree with stilt roots for Louisiana bog garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Does Louisiana have any native trees with stilt roots? I would like one to go with my cypress and tupelo bog garden. I have several native plants such as spider lilies and blue flag irises, but I'm still missing that one oddball plant to complete it. Do you have any suggestions?


Avicennia germinans (Black mangrove) does have pneumatophores (stilt roots) and does occur as close to you as Jefferson Parish on Lake Ponchartrain.

Here is more information from the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida and an excellent Plant Guide for the species from the National Resources Conservation Services of the USDA.  Since it is a facultative halophyte (tolerates growing in saline water but will grow well in fresh water), you should be able to grow it in your bog garden.

Here are photos of the black mangrove from DiscoverLife.com and Seabean.com.

Another possibility (without stilt roots, however) is Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush).  It grows in boggy areas and is rather spectacular looking with its white flower balls and, later, reddish-brown fruits.


From the Image Gallery

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

More Water Gardens Questions

Problems with non-native bi-color iris from Spring Branch TX
August 18, 2011 - Bi colored iris. I have four plants planted around our water feature last fall. Up until recently they all looked very healthy, yet not blooming. Several weeks ago I noticed that two of the plants ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a pond bank in Gladwin MI
September 13, 2009 - Our acre-size pond bank is sloped and high maintenance--needs mowed. We have lots of deer. We would like to plant a low-lying ground cover to eliminate mowing the bank--any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
May 16, 2006 - I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?
view the full question and answer

Plants for edge of intermittent stream
July 05, 2009 - I have a friend in Washington DC who is having runoff problems. She is having a drycreek installed. What kind of plants are native to her area that will withstand flash flood and intermittent dry co...
view the full question and answer

How to keep plants alive in a pot beside a patio waterfall.
May 13, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a waterfall on my patio and I can't keep my plants alive in the flower pot next to waterfall. Is that beacuse of algae produced by waterfall? If so, can you please recomme...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center