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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

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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Tuesday - January 08, 2008

From: Brownsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for Brownsville, Texas lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I inherited a house 2 miles from Boca Beach near Brownsville, Tx. Water has to be trucked in 30 miles from Brownsville so a conventional lawn is out of the question. Now the yard is only weeds. Always looks awful. I saw the article in Saturday's paper and would like to know if buffalograss or the mixture would grow in a sandy, silty area with lots of sun and hot temperatures throughout the year. Also, since i'm visiting my daughter in Austin this week, do you have the buffalograss for sale at the Wildflower Center? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) does occur naturally in Cameron County so it shouldn't be a problem to grow on your property since you have plenty of sunshine. You might like to read "Native Lawns" in our How to Articles for tips on how to get started with your lawn.

You might also consider some other hardy, drought-tolerant plants that can be grown as attractive groundcovers. Here are a few possibilities:

Stemodia lanata (gray-woolly twintip)

Tephrosia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's hoarypea)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Tidestromia lanuginosa (woolly tidestromia)

The Wildflower Center has two plant sales a year—a Spring Sale (usually in April) and a Fall Sale (usually in October), but we don't generally have plants for sale during the remainder of the year. We do, however, have our National Suppliers Directory where you can search for nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native plants in your area.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Stemodia lanata

Tephrosia lindheimeri

Wedelia texana

Phyla nodiflora

Calyptocarpus vialis

Tidestromia lanuginosa

 

 

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