En EspaÑol

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

Alternative to Habiturf™ for San Franciso area
October 05, 2014 - Will Habiturf thrive in San Francisco? My current sod lawn is dying because the soil has become extremely hard. I'll replace the top couple of inches but underneath is a mix of sand and clay.
view the full question and answer

Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
April 15, 2008 - We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annua...
view the full question and answer

Tolerance to foot traffic for native turf grass
December 16, 2010 - I have read your articles on your mix of three native seeds for turf grass and on other native grasses but am left with a couple of lingering questions. We have about a 600 sq. ft area we want to plan...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent creekside erosion in Nacogdoches County, Texas
December 09, 2014 - I am looking for some advice on plants native to Texas that can help prevent erosion. I own a wooded lot with a creek and would like to consolidate the sides of the creek against potential erosion. I...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
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