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 Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Native buffalograss in sandy loam
April 19, 2008 - I am in the Austin area and want to plant Native Texas Buffalo Grass in sandy loam from the Colorado River bed. Will this work?
view the full question and answer

Is sulfurous well water affecting leaves on trees in Belton TX
November 07, 2011 - We installed an irrigation system for our buffalo grass lawn last spring. The grass is fine but the leaves on the trees are burned where the water hits them. I suspect that the well we are using fo...
view the full question and answer

Planting of Habiturf from Smithville TX
March 25, 2012 - Are Habiturf and Thunderturf the same? and, how late in the year can I plant Habiturf?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center