Local vegetation also varies from north to south with the lower third consisting of the temperate grassland extending from South Texas to South Louisiana.
East Texas comprises 41 counties, 38 of which collaborate in sub-regional Ark-Tex Council of Governments, the East Texas Council of Governments, the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.
Counties included are Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood County, Texas.
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Bald cypress and Spanish moss are the dominant plants in bayous.
The most famous of these bayous are Cypress Bayou and Buffalo Bayou.
The Brazos cuts through the southwest portion of the region while the Red River forms its northern border with Oklahoma and a portion of Arkansas.
In East Texas and the rest of the South, small rivers and creeks collect into swamps called "Bayous" and merge with the surrounding forest.
West of the Piney Woods are the ranchlands and remnant oak forests of the East Central Texas forests ecoregion.
The Sabine River, Trinity River, Neches River, Angelina River and Sulphur River are the major rivers in East Texas, but the Brazos River and Red River also flow through the region.
Cypress Bayou surrounds the Big, Little, and Black Cypress rivers around Jefferson.