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
4 ratings

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

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Mowable sedge for Zone 5, New York
December 07, 2007 - My wife (who is from Austin!) and I have a house in New York, warmish Zone 5. We are seeking a grass-like groundcover for lawn areas ranging from full to partial shade. We have a well-drained hill n...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
view the full question and answer

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Habiturf in Austin
May 10, 2014 - I have been trying to establish a Habiturf lawn in my back yard. It is approximately a 1,000 square foot area and this last seeding was the third over about one and a half years. I just recently over ...
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