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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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Saturday - March 24, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Suggested plants for between flagstones in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant something between my flagstones on patio. I am taking up the cement mortar and want something that doesn't require a lot of water, low growing, and can stand a little traffic. It is in a partly sunny area. Any ideas for Austin, Texas?? Possibly a grass or sedum??

ANSWER:

If the area is mostly sunny, Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) would be a good choice. It requires very little water and doesn't grow tall. It can be sown as seeds or planted as plugs.

Sedum nuttallianum (yellow stonecrop) is another plant that would be excellent if your area is mostly sunny. It is cold tolerant and generally a bit shorter than buffalograss.

Another possibility is a sedge, e.g., Carex texensis (Texas sedge) or Carex planostachys (cedar sedge). Both these sedges do well in partial shade with little water.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit or turkey tangle fogfruit) grows in partial shade and requires little water, but will also do well in poorly drained soils. it does spread somewhat vigorously. I suggest you might like to read the answer to a recent question about frogfruit.

 


Bouteloua dactyloides

Sedum nuttallianum

Carex texensis

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

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