Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support 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

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


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.


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

Panicum virgatum

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 Shrubs Questions

Plants for wall with afternoon sun in Oregon
July 03, 2008 - Portland, Or. We have a stacked cement wall about 30 feet long that receives afternoon sun from the west. we would like to plant something edible along that wall that can tolerate afternoon sun. G...
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011 - Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars attacking mountain laurel in Marble Falls TX
August 27, 2009 - What are the caterpillars that eat up our mountain laurel? Nothing left but a few stems.
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shrub or tree to block dust from dirt road
March 15, 2009 - I live on a dirt road in Northeast Kansas. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance shrub/bush or small tree that will form a barrier to block the dust from the dirt road? It will be plante...
view the full question and answer

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