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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.

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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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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.

 
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Sunday - February 01, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Identification of native wild grass in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had some landscaping done in my yard in Austin. My aim was minimal care so I requested native Texas plants. I am plant illiterate and just now looking in the City of Austin "grow green guide" to see how to care for the plants. One plant I could not identify and looked up on the internet. It appears to be "Wild Oats" and it appears this is not a desirable plant and may take over my landscape. Do I want to remove this plant or is it okay to have in ones yard? If I leave it do I cut back the plant to keep it under control?

ANSWER:

We're thinking, particularly since you requested native plants, that you may have Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), which is good, they are an excellent native grass, good in shade or sun, low maintenance and attractive year-round. One of its common names is, in fact, "wild oats."  Please follow the link above to the page on this grass and compare the description with what you have. We will add some pictures from our Image Gallery. If you still don't think that's what you have, perhaps you could take a picture, following the directions for doing so on the Mr. Smarty Plants Page on Plant ID, send it to us and we'll try to make the identification.


Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium

 

 

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