En EspaÑol

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 06, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Tufted hairgrass seed for Houston TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

From Houston-Texas I am looking for a seed grass called tufted hairgrass ( deschampsia caespitosa ), if you can tell me where to find this kind of seed. Thank you for helping.

ANSWER:

Deschampsia cespitosa (tufted hairgrass) is probably the grass you are looking for. Deschampsia caespitosa  is a synonym for this plant; that is, it may be an older name or one used in other parts of the country. As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile, it is not native to Texas. It is a cool-season grass, needs light shade and is the dominant grass in mountain meadows. If you were hoping to grow it in Houston, you probably will find you have too much heat, and no mountain meadows. 

When we are trying to help someone in Texas look for a native grass, we usually refer them to the Online Catalog of Native American Seed.  However, we looked at that, and Deschampsia cespitosa is not in their list of grasses available. Via Google, we found a nursery, Bluestem Nursery, which does carry the seeds of this grass. They are located in British Columbia, Canada, which probably tells you something about how viable that seed is going to be in Houston. We also found this website from the California Native Plant Link Exchange that lists a number of suppliers for the seed, all in California, obviously,  but most would do mail order.

For more information, see this site from North Carolina State University Tufted hairgrass  and pictures.

From our Native Plant Database Image Gallery:


Deschampsia cespitosa

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Alternative for HABITURF® in Contra Costa County, CA
September 17, 2014 - We live in Kensington, just north of Berkeley, in the San Francisco area. We intend to get rid of our water consuming lawn and we are wondering what kind of alternative you would suggest. You don't s...
view the full question and answer

Advice about buffalo grass lawn in NW Arkansas
June 10, 2014 - I am determined to grow a native buffalo grass (bouteloua) lawn in Northwest Arkansas. My question is this: I am considering mixing an annual rye into the bouteloua seed mix for the purpose of quick, ...
view the full question and answer

Native flower bed with part sun
December 05, 2008 - I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
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

Plants for a dry hillside in central Texas
March 07, 2010 - We need to plant some plants or grasses on a 3/4 acre sloaping hillside which does not get watered. Any recommendations for native grasses or plants which don't need care and will keep the lot from e...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center