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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.

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Thursday - July 02, 2015

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Rocky Stream Bank Plants for Dallas, TX
Answered by: Larry Larson


Need live stake shrubbery or tree ideas for a rocky stream bank prone to high water. Thank you


Mr Smarty Plants has answered a few similar questions, most of which are a bit more open in simply calling for erosion control plants.  The shrubs [and trees] suggested in these question/answer pairs should be good candidates:

Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank

Shrubs for erosion protection in Arlington TX 

Plants to stop erosion on sandy slope in north central Texas 

Native ground covers for rocky, shady slope in Arlington, TX 

Plants to prevent creekside erosion in Nacogdoches County, Texas  

   As the above discussions don’t really address trees, this is a good opportunity to also discuss the method of using the Wildflower Centers collections to identify more candidates.  One of the links  listed on every page is “Special Collections”.  From that page, you can choose the collection for your area.  In this case, the “North Central Texas” collection is one of the appropriate ones.

   These lists can be reduced to plants with specific characteristics. Selecting “Trees”, there are 30 candidates to consider.  You can then read in the plant record notes on soil, native habitat, speed of growth and several other characteristics that may be important to you in choice of tree.

From these discussions, the plants below may well be good for your application:

Shrubs:    Hibiscus laevis (Halberdleaf rosemallow), Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush), Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)Mahonia trifoliolata (Agarita), Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)


Moist, Rich soil -   Acer negundo (Ash-leaf maple)Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye), Juglans nigra (Black walnut),  

Rocky soil - Carya texana (Black hickory)Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper)Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac)


From the Image Gallery

Halberdleaf rosemallow
Hibiscus laevis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Ilex vomitoria

Mahonia trifoliolata

Box elder
Acer negundo

Ohio buckeye
Aesculus glabra

Black walnut
Juglans nigra

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Prairie flameleaf sumac
Rhus lanceolata

More Trees Questions

Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
July 13, 2012 - The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
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Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
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Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
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Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
January 12, 2013 - Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on th...
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Is Lemon Cypress toxic?
August 15, 2012 - Is the Lemon Cypress toxic?
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