Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 02, 2015

From: Abilene, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Laws, Trees
Title: Companion Plants for Salix nigra in Texas
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'm looking the list of companion plants as well as those that might not go well with Salix nigra.

ANSWER:

For a list of plants that will grow well with Black Willow (Salix nigra), take a look at the Native Plant Database on the www.wildflower.org website and put in the same environmental conditions. Those that don’t like the same environmental conditions will not survive as well.

To find companion plants that like the same conditions as Salix nigra enter the following search criteria: State = Texas, habit = all habits, duration = perennial, light requirement = full sun, soil moisture = wet. This search will reveal over 100 native plants (of all types) that like the same conditions as Salix nigra. Some of those from this search are shown in the images below.

A fast-growing tree, 10-60 ft., with an open crown often with several trunks growing out at angles from one root. Found in wet soil along streams and at the margins of ponds and lakes. Leaf blades up to 5 inches long, narrow and tapering to an elongate tip, margins finely serrate. Bright yellow-green twigs bear yellow-green catkins. Flowers inconspicuous, arranged in elongate clusters which appear in March and April; male and female flowers on separate trees. Seeds wind-borne on silky hairs. The bark is deeply furrowed.

This is the largest and most important New World willow, with one of the most extensive ranges across the country. In the lower Mississippi Valley it attains commercial timber size, reaching 100-140 (30-42 m) in height and 4 (1.2 m) in diameter. Large trees are valuable in binding soil banks, thus preventing soil erosion and flood damage. Mats and poles made from Black Willow trunks and branches provide further protection of riverbanks and levees. One of the lightest of all eastern hardwoods, it is extremely weak in a structural sense. Yet it has a strength of its own. When nails are driven into it, black willow does not split. Also a shade tree and honey plant.

Stream banks, ditches, tanks, low ground, and other areas of wet soil throughout Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
Conditions Comments: Short-lived and fast-growing. Susceptible to insect and wind damage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Black willow
Salix nigra

Black willow
Salix nigra

Black willow
Salix nigra

Coastal pepperbush
Clethra alnifolia

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Swamp loosestrife
Decodon verticillatus

Bandanna of the everglades
Canna flaccida

Common boneset
Eupatorium perfoliatum

Common sneezeweed
Helenium autumnale var. autumnale

Halberdleaf rosemallow
Hibiscus laevis

American holly
Ilex opaca

Virginia iris
Iris virginica

More Trees Questions

Plants found only in the Edwards Plateau of Texas area
March 23, 2008 - I am new to Austin, Texas and I am working with a group of 4th grade Cub Scouts on their Naturalist and Forester pins and we need to know about and have pictures of at least 6 trees and plants only fo...
view the full question and answer

Timing for transplanting a yaupon in Louisiana
January 01, 2009 - I found a female yaupon growing wild at the back of my property and would like to move it to the front. When should I do this?
view the full question and answer

Best time to trim oak trees to avoid oak wilt
June 08, 2008 - When is the best time to trim oak trees? Concerned regarding oak wilt if cut at wrong time. Ball moss is not harmful but will it help or harm if trees trimmed. These are large oak trees. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Will smoketrees (Cotinus sp.) grow in the Texas Panhandle region
June 03, 2010 - Will smoke trees grow in the Lubbock-Amarillo, Texas region of Texas?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen trees for a Southern California yard
July 08, 2011 - Hello I live in Irvine, CA and I am looking for a tree for our front yard. We recently planted oaks but they did not survive the clay soil. Our landscaper wants to replace them with oaks or with ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.