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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.

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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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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!

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Thursday - August 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Identification of native grasses little bluestem and switchgrass
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

If you drive east of Austin on Hwy 71, there is a bluish looking grass that has become very noticeable since the heavy rains in July. The blades grow straight up and each plant is in clump form. Do you happen to know what this is? Thanks

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants believes what you are seeing is Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem). It has been very happy with all this rain. Although this is the most likely possibility, there is another—Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), which has a bluish tinge to it and is also prolific this year.

 


Schizachyrium scoparium

Panicum virgatum

 

 

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