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

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Sunday - October 04, 2015

From: Trophy Club, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Restoring riverfront from Blanco Flood
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have cleared our riverfront from the Blanco Flood and I am now looking for help in replanting native trees/grass on our property. Our home was in the Flood of Hayes county Memorial Weekend. I am looking for advise/help in trying to restore the riverfront. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

On our Special Collections page we have a special list of plants, Central Texas Riparian Restoration Species, recommending species that are appropriate for the restoration of your riverfront.

Grasses are very important components of the restoration.  Here are several from the list that are excellent choices:

Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem) grows in full sun. 

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) grows well in shade and partly shaded areas. 

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) grows in sun and part shade.

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) grows in sun, part shade and shade.

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern gamagrass) grows in part shade.

 

Here are suggestions for trees from the list:

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush) is more a shrub than a tree and grows 6 to 12 feet.

 Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Populus deltoides (Eastern cottonwood) is fast growing.

Salix nigra (Black willow) is fast growing.

Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress)

Texas State University has a webpage with the title Disaster Recovery Resources addressing the Memorial Weekend flood.  Though they were done early in June some of the videos have information that is still useful.  You can find the workshops by searching on YouTube for "Blanco Riparian Workshops".  Here is the link to the workshop with the title "What to Plant after the Flood" by Bill Niemann of Native American Seed.

The Wildflower 2015 Fall Native Plant Sale occurs Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11 with Wildflower "Members Only" day on Friday, Oct. 9.  Most (if not all) of the plants listed above appear on the Plant Sale Plant List.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Eastern gamagrass
Tripsacum dactyloides

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

American sycamore
Platanus occidentalis

Eastern cottonwood
Populus deltoides

Black willow
Salix nigra

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

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September 12, 2013 - What is the most effective method of killing zoysia grass? We bought a house that sits in the center of four acres of mature zoysia. It looks beautiful, however, despite our best efforts at "weeding...
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September 07, 2009 - What plants could be used to plant on clay soil, Eastern exposure in full sun to stop erosion on a bay side hill with a steep grade?
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Evergreen grasslike plants for Austin TX
April 15, 2008 - Hi, I'm in Austin, TX and looking for some evergreen grass-looking plants. Would you explain the similarities/differences between Butterfly Iris and Lily Grass in this regard? Thank you
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