En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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


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??


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



More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Need plants to control erosion on a hillside in Nashville, TN.
February 28, 2012 - Recently, a rogue contractor scraped all the sod off of my Tennessee hillside. Now the clay soil is exposed and washing away quickly. The hill slope is approximately 30 degrees. In the spring I'd ...
view the full question and answer

Planting a meadow garden in Pennsylvania
November 16, 2014 - I live in Saxonburg PA near Pittsburgh PA. I want to put a meadow garden in my back yard. We are building a home so there is no established yard yet just trees and weeds. Where do I start . What...
view the full question and answer

Native grass lawn for San Antonio
June 25, 2011 - Dear Mr Smartyplants, I live outside of San Antonio and my question is in regards to putting in a native grass lawn. What type of soil should I put down? I've sprayed herbicide and was planning on ...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for chain link fenceline in Nash, TX
April 29, 2009 - I have chain link fence all the way around my yard and I am getting tired of having to weed eat along the fence line. I am looking for some type of year round decorative plant or grass (preferably on...
view the full question and answer

Slope eroding in Martinsburg WV
May 05, 2010 - I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. My soil is shale/clay I am unable to grow grass it seems to burn up every year. It gets full sun and is on a hill. I have used topsoil and reseeded it...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center