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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!

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Friday - May 13, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native, durable, drought tolerant grasses for Amarillo, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are there any kinds of native grasses that are drought tolerant, durable and able to survive heavy foot traffic, and native to the Amarillo, Texas area?

ANSWER:

Buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) meets all your criteria except "heavy" foot traffic. It is, however, durable and will tolerate "moderate" foot traffic. It also requires lots of sunshine and does not do well in too much shade. Buffalo grass is drought tolerant, requires little maintenance (mowing once or twice a year), and can be started from seed, from "plugs", or installed as sod. You can read more about creating a native lawn using buffalo grass in "Native Lawns" from the Native Plant Library. This article is a 3-page PDF-formatted article that you can download. You can search for Nurseries or Seed Companies in Texas that specialize in native grasses and wildflowers by visiting the National Suppliers Directory.
 

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