Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 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

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Ground cover for a bank in PA
April 28, 2012 - I live in Landisburg, PA, (zone 6). I need to find some ground cover for a primarily full sun bank that is roughly 10-12' down over the embankment and up to 100' long. This area wraps around our po...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plant for hillside in Brookings OR
April 16, 2009 - We live on the Chetco river and the bank in front of the house is on a hill. What would be a flowering plant that would maintain the integrity of the hill?
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
July 12, 2011 - What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
view the full question and answer

Mowable sedge for Zone 5, New York
December 07, 2007 - My wife (who is from Austin!) and I have a house in New York, warmish Zone 5. We are seeking a grass-like groundcover for lawn areas ranging from full to partial shade. We have a well-drained hill n...
view the full question and answer

Growing native grasses in containeers in Illinois
May 16, 2007 - Hi. How well would native grasses grow in container gardens in Illinois? What soil would you suggest? Thanks.
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.