Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport the plant database you love!

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

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 - 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

Leaf spot as indicator of Oak Wilt Disease
May 26, 2007 - I live close to the Wilflower Center. I have two trees in my front yard which are just now showing brown spots on the leaves. I fear this may be oak wilt. Would it be possible for me to bring som...
view the full question and answer

Will Mountain Laurels be harmed by juglones from my pecan tree?
May 06, 2009 - Hi. I just bought a house. It has a big pecan tree at the edge of the front lawn next to the street. I guess it's about 25 feet from the front of the house. I was thinking of planting mountain la...
view the full question and answer

Hedge in central Texas
June 17, 2009 - Help, my oleanders are dying. I am in need of hedge suggestions- ideal would be quick growing, maybe 8-12 feet at their tallest. I live in Central Texas.
view the full question and answer

Texas ash tree splitting in Denton TX
April 03, 2010 - I have a Texas ash tree that's splitting in its center and need some info re cable tie or other techniques to fuse the crotch together. I have temporarily placed two bands of plastic cable ties just...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtles in Noblesville IN
August 01, 2012 - Can Crepe Myrtle trees be grown in Noblesville IN 46060? I believe we are zone five.
view the full question and answer

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