Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

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

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

New gardener on lawn for Poolville TX
April 28, 2012 - I have never had the opportunity to have a nice yard until recently when I got married. My husband loves a nice yard and we have worked very hard and put in hours of work. We are learning by trial a...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflower habitat for North Carolina
January 24, 2007 - I am from North Carolina and have been gradually establishing a wildflower spring garden. I now have a beautiful display of bluets and cornflowers that grace my front yard in the spring. Most of this...
view the full question and answer

Alkalinity-tolerant grasses
July 24, 2005 - Dear Sirs - Are you aware of any grass species that could survive in strongly alkaline soils (ph from 10 up to 12) Thanks a lot.
view the full question and answer

Native sedges for Texas
March 07, 2007 - What can you tell me about Texas Blue Sedge? What its true name and culture requirements?
view the full question and answer

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