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 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

Progress of Habiturf lawn from Round Rock TX
April 12, 2012 - I sowed Habiturf seeds almost two weeks ago in well prepared soil--no grass or weeds, well tilled with compost. After sowing, I lightly raked the soil. I have watered twice/day, allowing it to dry s...
view the full question and answer

Severely cutback sloping soil in Dripping Springs TX
May 09, 2010 - We have 5.5 acres off Henly Loop just north of Hwy 290 about 10 miles west of Dripping Springs, TX. The former property owners carved out soil from a sloping area to get soil for the driveway. Doing ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hold a slope in NY
May 17, 2010 - We recently built a house (on a hillside) and now are having some drainage issues on a fairly steep slope (a small creek is forming in the swale the excavator made "deal" with the drainage). Yester...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
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