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

Type of clumping bamboo for outdoor planters from Plano TX
March 25, 2014 - What type of clumping bamboo can be grown outdoors in planters in Dallas,TX?
view the full question and answer

Should the herbicide Ornamec 170 be used on unwanted grasses?
March 15, 2012 - I have a lovely wildflower garden in a field behind my house; unfortunately, the wildflowers are being smothered by grasses. I understand that Ornamec 170 can be used to control grasses in wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for Uvalde Co., Texas
March 03, 2010 - I plan on seeding a new yard in the Utopia area in central Texas with a combination of Texas native grasses (Buffalograss, Blue Grama & Curly Mesquite). When can I broadcast the seeds..how warm shoul...
view the full question and answer

Carex texensis for Gainesville, Florida
August 31, 2013 - I am interested in planting Carex texensis in Gainesville Florida (zone 9). The site is part shade with little water. However, I do not see it listed as being used anywhere in Florida. Is it restric...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center