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

Wednesday - February 09, 2005

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Ferns, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Texas native plants for cemetery site
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thinking now of lining the whole site with some sort of monkey grass and possibly some Texas Sage. I am looking for something around the headstone as well as some possible groundcover. Can you give me any guidance for such a task? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Most cemeteries have some landscaping guidelines so the first thing you need to learn is whether there are guidelines, or restrictions, about what you can plant there. The Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) sounds like a good candidate for your site. You might want to consider one of the more compact, dwarf varieties, such as 'Silverado'(tm). Another possibility for a native evergreen shrub is the wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). There are also dwarf wax myrtle varieties. Instead of monkey grass, you might consider gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris), a native bunch grass. In the fall it turns a beautiful feathery pink and tolerates being cut back occasionally. Another attractive clump grass, inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), might also be a possibility. Another evergreen to consider is the native cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea). A couple of Texas natives come to mind for groundcovers. One is Texas frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) and another is straggler daisy, or horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis).

You can read about the symbolism of some common cemetery plants. Although many of these are not native to Texas, you might be able to find an equivalent native for your purpose.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for plants under sugar maple (Acer saccharum) tree
March 12, 2011 - We have an area under sugar maple trees and near white pines. We cannot get any grass to grow. There is little moisture and no sun in the summer. We live 25 miles north of Nashville, TN. Can you r...
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for seeping hillside and muddy bottom area
October 28, 2009 - We live on the north side of Lake Travis. About half acre of our property is currently planted with natives. The other half consists of a huge limestone ledge, a steep slope with little soil that seep...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center