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?

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
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

Tuesday - April 15, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Evergreen grasslike plants for Austin TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I'm in Austin, TX and looking for some evergreen grass-looking plants. Would you explain the similarities/differences between Butterfly Iris and Lily Grass in this regard? Thank you

ANSWER:

First, let me tell you what the major similarity is—neither plant is native to North America. Butterfly, or African Iris (Dietes sp.) is native to Africa and Lily grass, or weeping Anthericum (Anthericum saundersiae) is native to southern Europe and Turkey. Here is one difference (besides the obvious difference in appearance)—Butterfly iris is a member of the Family Iridaceae (Iris Family) and Lily grass is a member of the Family Liliaceae (Lily Family). Now, since our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America, we can't really be much more help than that with these two. However, we can suggest, as substitutes for them, some evergreen grasslike plants that are native to Texas. Since they are native, they are adapted to our climate, require less water and do well in our rocky clay soils.

There are several sedges that are evergreen:

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Other possibilities that are larger, evergreen and grasslike are:

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)


Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex planostachys

Carex texensis

Nolina texana

Hesperaloe parviflora

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
August 24, 2013 - Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis in Clinton Township MI
October 18, 2010 - Do I have to bring a painted lady hibiscus tree in for the winter? We planted it in the ground and it did great this summer, but I do not know if we have to put it in a pot and bring it in for the wi...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native daylilies from Albuquerque
May 05, 2013 - Need some tips on planting daylilies in the Northeast heights of Albuquerque. I've amended clay soil with cottonbur mulch/compost mix and added gypsum. Can I do anything else to ensure growing succes...
view the full question and answer

Elaeagnus sudden death in Waxahachie, TX
May 11, 2015 - I live in North Central Texas and have eleagnus planted along my fence in full sun. Last year one dropped all it's leafs and died. The same is happening to one beside it this year. I have sprayed ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
June 25, 2009 - We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center