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?


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
5 ratings

Saturday - April 04, 2009

From: Albany, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grasses for creek area near Abilene, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have constructed several low water crossings on a live creek in the Abilene,Texas area and need to find out the best grass to plant to hold secure the soil and keep down erosion. The creek does runs once a year or so. The areas I am trying to plant are about 70% sunlight and it is possible for me to water the seed until established.


Below are some native grasses that all occur in or near Taylor County that should be be ideal for application to your low water crossings.

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Pascopyrum smithii (western wheatgrass)

Setaria leucopila (streambed bristlegrass) with more information

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Eleocharis montevidensis (sand spikerush) is not technically a grass (it is a rush), but it should be very good for areas that stay moist most of the year.

Andropogon glomeratus

Elymus canadensis

Pascopyrum smithii

Setaria leucopila

Sorghastrum nutans

Eleocharis montevidensis




More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native border plants to stop erosion
February 18, 2015 - I need native border plants to assist in stopping soil erosion due to water run off from rain and the Catawba River.
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of gulf muhly in Dripping Springs TX
April 19, 2010 - I have had several gulf muhly in my garden for about 8 years, but last fall they did not bloom, however several others only feet away did. Do you have any idea why this might have occurred?
view the full question and answer

Brown spots in St. Augustine grass
July 05, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I are in the Air Force and were recently moved to Cibolo Texas. We built a home and hired a landscaper to finish the yard May 07 (with irrigation system). We laid d...
view the full question and answer

Planting buffalograss from Surfside Beach SC
September 14, 2012 - How do I plant buffalograss along a lake? Do I just spread the seeds?
view the full question and answer

Lawn Options for Saginaw, MI
April 09, 2015 - I'm looking for a low maintenance, high traffic lawn alternative. Will Texas Frogfruit handle the winter? My yard is small so covering it is an option.
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center