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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - September 12, 2008

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Will Bermuda grass crowd out natives
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

i have a new office bldg on an acre lot in cedar park. the city requires complete ground cover within a few months so bermuda was sprayed much to my dismay..the area along the front towards the road was not sprayed and has retained some of the native grasses but is adjacent to the bermuda. can i encourage the natives in this area with no mowing, and seeding wildflowers and native grasses or will the bermuda gradually take over no matter what i do?

ANSWER:

Well, I'm not overly optimistic about keeping the bermuda grass completely out of the non-sprayed area, but I certainly think it's worth a try.  Bermuda grass is very agressive, moving into new areas by rhizomes (underground stems) and stolons (aboveground stems) as well as by seeds spread by wind and birds.  However, if you seed the area now, you might get to enjoy some native grasses and wildflowers for a bit and they may be able to hold off the bermuda grass if they become well-established before the bermuda grass makes it there.  Here are suggestions for native grasses that do not need mowing:  Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama).  Blue grama can be as tall as 12 inches when it blooms, but the foliage of it and the buffalograss reaches a maximum of only about 8 inches.  Native American Seed in Junction has a Native Sun Turfgrass mix that is a combination of the two.  They also have several wildflower mixes available.  The Native Texas Mix has a good combination of attractive hardy wildflowers (Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan), Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower), Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel), Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm), Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and more).  They also sell packages of single wildflower species.

 


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Rudbeckia hirta

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Gaillardia pulchella

Monarda citriodora

Lupinus texensis

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Latest time to mow bluebonnets from Chappell Hill TX
February 13, 2014 - The past few years, my bluebonnets have been overwhelmed by tall grass. I could have solved this by mowing later, but I was always afraid of mowing new bluebonnet plants. When is the latest time I can...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Texas bluebell (Eustoma exaltatum)
June 27, 2006 - Very recently on the 6 o'clock news there was a report about The Center joining UT. There was a picture of a large, purple lily-like/trumpet flower with a yellow pistil. I recall my Grandmother call...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers for an English garden in New Jersey
August 06, 2008 - I am working on a English type garden and trying to achieve the most color flowers, mainly the longest summer blooms. I live in Port Monmouth NJ. Any suggestions for the best and longest summer bloo...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower trails in the Hill Country in Texas from Austin
February 13, 2011 - Where can I find information about wildflower trails in the Hill Country (from Llano southward to Uvalde area)? I am planning a driving trip the week of April 18th.
view the full question and answer

Identity of sunflower
November 02, 2012 - I am not able to find how to post a picture to help you identify a plant on our campus. I believe the plant I am trying to identify is a rough sunflower. (Helianthus hirsutus) We have zexmenia as ...
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