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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - July 26, 2008

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Is nimblewil (Muhlenbergia schreberi) a turf grass or a weed
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

Mr. SP, I have seen nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) both promoted as a turf grass and disparaged as an invasive pest. Do you have an opinion on this grass and whether/where/how it should be used?

ANSWER:

Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) is a beautiful grass, very fine and "featherlike". It tends to grow in areas which get some additional moisture (seep). We've often thought it would make an excellent lawn grass/ground cover, but it remains untested as to how it would stand up to foot traffic and mowing. Our experience with all the other native turfgrasses we're testing is that they all can form a great looking lawn depending on your aesthetic. I would guess that nimblewill would be fine as long as it is left relatively long (perhaps 6" since it has a decumbent growth form) and has little traffic.

You may have read some of these already, but here are some other descriptions and/or opinions about nimblewill from:

Illinois Wildflowers

Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Michigan State University


Muhlenbergia schreberi

 

 

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