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 20, 2009

From: Gallatin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grass for family cemetery in Gallatin TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Recently, we made a family cemetery, and are now trying to find a type of grass that will make a healthy lawn for it. What would be an appropriate species to plant here?

ANSWER:

Are you really looking for a lawn, which needs mowing and watering, or for an attractive and low-maintenance ground cover? Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), which doesn't appear to grow as far east in Texas as Cherokee County, is a widely used native grass for low watering situations. For more information on low-maintenance native grasses and other plants, please read out How-to Article on Native Lawns.  We would also like to suggest you  consider a wildflower meadow, with both native grasses and native wildflowers. This would be a lovely setting for a country family cemetery. It just so happens we also have an How-To Article on Meadow Gardening

For the time being, however, you asked for grasses, and we will give you a list of grasses native to East Texas, some for sun (6 hours or more of sun), some for part shade (2 to 6 hours of shade) and some for shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day). There are some sedges that are a possibility if you are interested in something that can be mowed, but others will be ornamental, holding their place year-round and needing only cutting back to about 6 inches tall in early Spring. 

Sedges for Cherokee County, TX

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) - evergreen, 1 to 3 ft. tall, high water use, sun, part shade or shade

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) - 12 to 18 inches tall, medium water use, part shade

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) - 10 to 12 inches tall, medium water use, sun or part shade

Grasses for Cherokee County, TX

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) - 4 to 8 ft. tall, medium water use, sun or part shade

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 1 to 3 ft., medium water use, sun or part shade

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft. tall, medium water use, part shade or shade

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - 18 to 24 inches tall, low water use, sun or part shade

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) - 3 to 8 ft. tall, medium water use, sun, part shade or shade


Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex texensis

Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Landscaping suggestions for small yard in Alexandria, VA
April 20, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I are preparing to till up most of our back yard and redo it. I'd like to use native plants, but am open to cultivars of them (as in, a column-shaped Ilex glabra...
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
April 16, 2012 - How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Solarization and hand-pulling to remove invasive weeds
June 20, 2004 - We are planting a field of native grasses, and prepared the landscape by solarization last July. However it now seems that the weeds returned with great vigor. Is there any other method to get rid of ...
view the full question and answer

Potential ecosystem benefits to Carex flaccosperma
December 06, 2014 - Hi, I am trying to find out if there are any ecosystem benefits associated with the plant Carex flaccosperma: Blue wood sedge?
view the full question and answer

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