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

Saturday - December 13, 2008

From: Athens, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grasses for Van Zandt County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have approx'ly 200 acres in Van Zandt County, Texas between Edom & Ben Wheeler of which approx'ly half is pasture land and has been used for hay for the past several years. We would have converted to Wildlife Exemption from Ag Exemption and have been told to disc the pasture land and plant native grasses. What native grasses are indigenous to our East Texas area? The pasture land is sunny with rolling hills. The soil is sandy on top with a clay base. Also, when should we plant?

ANSWER:

First of all, There are warm season grasses (WSG) and cool season grasses (CSG). WSG should be planted in late spring (March or April) and CSG can be planted in early spring (February or March), as well as late summer and early fall (September or October).

You certainly could plant the big four of prairie grasses, all WSG, and all of which have been recorded in or near Van Zandt County:

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), with more information

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), with more information

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), with more information

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass), with more information

Here are some other grasses that grow in our adjacent to Van Zandt County:

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) and more information, grows in wet areas, WSG

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (silver beardgrass) and more information, WSG

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) and more information, WSG and the state grass of Texas

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) and more information, CSG, grows well in the shade 

Elymus virginicus (Virginia wildrye) and more information, CSG

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass) and more information, WSG

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass) and more information, WSG

Tridens flavus (purpletop tridens) and more information, WSG

The Native Prairies Association of Texas has an excellent page of instructions for planting prairie grasses.  The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation also has an excellent set of instructions for establishing native grasses.


Andropogon gerardii

Panicum virgatum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Andropogon glomeratus

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus virginicus

Eragrostis intermedia

Eragrostis spectabilis

Tridens flavus

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native Indiangrass as a hedge
December 13, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a grass hedge as a foundation planting for a portion of our garden. One side of the planting is a concrete sidewalk to our garden shed, the other side wil...
view the full question and answer

Using salt to kill bermuda grass
May 12, 2009 - (Submitting to site per your request on Facebook, plus an added bit o'info) I am considering trying to kill off the bermuda grass around my raised bed with salt. Vinegar isn't cutting it.. S'pos...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental bunch grasses to grow under live oak
June 25, 2007 - I love live oak trees and have one in the back yard that is growing nicely. I don't know if it's the shade or the leaf and acorn droppings that won't allow the grass to grow underneath it. Around...
view the full question and answer

Small plants for space between stones on a path
November 03, 2007 - We've just installed a stone path (unmortared) near our house and are looking for plants/seeds that would do well in the gaps between the flagstones. Naturally they need to be very low growing and h...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX
May 25, 2013 - I am trying to replace some maiden grasses that died during the drought. I want an evergreen grass or something soft looking to replace them. I want something that is native and 5 to 6 feet tall to ...
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