Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 04, 2008

From: Keller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Possible invasiveness of non-native Eragrostis curvula
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have just moved to Keller, TX and am trying to establish a xeriscape plan for our property. I chose to plant weeping love grass as I learned it was a native plant and did not require fertilizing, a lot of water, nor mowing frequently. Now I have read on the web site that it is considered to be an invasive plant. We have a total of 2 acres of land and about 1/2 of it has been planted with the love grass in a meadow like plan. Do you think this grass will present major problems in the future?

ANSWER:

As it turns out, Eragrastus curvula is NOT a native plant, but was imported from South Africa in the late 1920's. Another common name is "Boer love grass." The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is centered on the use and propagation of plants native to North America, and especially concerned about invasive plants, non-native or native. On our Plantwise: Native Alternatives for Invasive Plants list, you will find several native, non-invasive replacements for this grass. However, replacing it may not be altogether practical at this point.

Eragrastus curvula is considered a warm season grass. Keller is approximately on the border between USDA Zones 7b and 8a, meaning that there will seldom be a very long period of sub-freezing temperatures. In cooler climates, weeping lovegrass is considered an annual. In your area, it is probably a tender perennial. If you are concerned about the invasiveness of the plant, consider not replacing any plants that are damaged or killed by cold weather, and replacing them with some of the native alternative grasses found in the weblink above.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care of non-native dracaena potted plant
February 04, 2008 - Last summer I was given a corn plant that stands about 6ft tall. About 2 weeks ago it began to flower. Over time I've had maybe 3 or 4 of these plants and never had any of them bloomed. Is this no...
view the full question and answer

Teucrium resistant to Verticillium Wilt?
April 20, 2015 - Is Teucrium frutescans, or Bush Germander resistant to Verticillium Wilt? I cannot find it on a list anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives for non-native, invasive Dianthus spp.
July 02, 2006 - We're landscaping our 1963 ranch house in Austin, and we're trying to balance low water and wildscape concerns. Being just across the street from Shoal Creek means we're staying away from anything ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Eugenia in Scottsdale AZ
June 02, 2012 - I have 5 eugenia topiaries in my courtyard in pots..I notice as the days here in Phoenix get hotter and dry (as usual) they are starting to look bad, even though they are under a shelter out of the di...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.