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
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

Non-native zoysia and bermuda grasses in Austin
July 11, 2013 - We have Bermuda grass in the front and Zoysia in the back yards. The back grass is fine but the front yard Bermuda isn't. We have watered once each week during the spring and during the past 3 weeks...
view the full question and answer

Control methods for Cenchrus spinifex, Coastal sandbur
September 22, 2006 - I have some of the nicest, thickest, greenest grassburs in the county of Erath. What is the best and quickest way to get rid of them? I have heard of a product called cornmeal gluten. Any info appreci...
view the full question and answer

Is sulfurous well water affecting leaves on trees in Belton TX
November 07, 2011 - We installed an irrigation system for our buffalo grass lawn last spring. The grass is fine but the leaves on the trees are burned where the water hits them. I suspect that the well we are using fo...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Austin
March 24, 2014 - I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Creating a wildflower meadow
May 18, 2013 - I have an area 1-6 acres worth that is currently grass that I would like to overseed with wildflower seed. The local native plant nursery says that would be a waste. I don't really want to kill gra...
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