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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

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June 15, 2010 - I have planted about 30 evergreen trees (as a screen). I would like to plant a row of low maintenance whitish flowering bushes or low maintenance large flowering plants in front of this row. Any sug...
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Problems with yaupon from San Angelo TX
April 08, 2012 - We have a 3-yr-old yaupon holly entering its 3rd summer. We have put store-bought wood-chips under the tree several times since it was planted. A plant has grown under the tree, possibly out of the ...
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Yellowing leaves of Texas Sage (Cenizo) from Las Vegas NV
November 21, 2013 - Leaves of Texas Sage are turning yellow. Can you tell me why?
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Shallow topsoil on rocky substrate in SW Oregon
April 28, 2009 - I want to plants some shrubs and trees. Trouble is I can't plant very deep. I have mostly rock within 5 inches. Please help.
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A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
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