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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Taylor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Would there be wild buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) growing in Williamson County?
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Greetings, I have done a "test planting" of buffalo grass in my yard. There are now some blooms (?) on the grass and I have noticed similar blooms on grass in two different places in the area (Taylor, Williamson County, TX). I am pretty certain that these places has never been tilled or seeded. Is the buffalo grass bloom unique? Would there still be native buffalo grass in this area? Thank you.


There should, indeed, be "wild" Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) growing in Williamson County, Texas.  According to Turner's Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, V.2, buffalo grass is widely distributed throughout Texas except for extreme East Texas.  You can see a distribution map from the USDA Plants Database.

Male and female flowers of buffalograss occur on different plants.  The first two pictures below show the female flowers and the last two photos are the male flowers.

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides



More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Hardy plants for a narrow yard in Illinois
July 28, 2008 - I have an area in my yard that is approx 35 feet by 5 feet that is shaded on the east by a 4 ft fence and on the west by the house and above by trees. It slopes off to the neighbors yard (so doesn't ...
view the full question and answer

Putting in native grass in June in Manor TX
May 31, 2012 - We are moving into a new-built house in the middle of June. We opted to not have them put in Bermuda grass as we wanted to seed a native mix. From my understanding, mid June will be too late to start ...
view the full question and answer

Native Wildflowers and Grasses for Texas Acreage
April 15, 2015 - I recently purchased about 36 acres in Somervell County, Texas where cedar had been bulldozed and burned (many large spots). What would be the best native flowers or grasses to replant in that area? L...
view the full question and answer

Problem with weeds in the buffalograss
June 11, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm about to throw in the towel! My back 'lawn' of buffalo grass (609) is almost all 'weeds'! Native ruellia and lyre leaf sage have taken over and as the area has gott...
view the full question and answer

Seed Habiturf on top of existing St. Augustine from Austin
January 26, 2012 - We don't want to rip up an existing St. Augustine lawn (potential HOA problems), but we'd like to go native grasses (like Habiturf?). Is there anything we can just seed on top of our present lawn a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.


Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Search More Titles in Bibliography

© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center