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?


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
1 rating

Tuesday - October 27, 2009

From: Cedar Creek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
Answered by: Nan Hampton


While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses and weeds. The highway department has started using it along the roadways. The guide thought the name might be Midway mix. I cannot find any information about this grass. Please tell me its name and where it can be purchased?


Turffalo is a Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) hybrid developed by Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and Frontier Hybrids.  The Wildflower Center does have experimental plots of it growing.  You can read the assessments of the turffalo plots by Julie Krosley, our senior horticulturist.  You can also read about the research on native turf grasses being conducted by Dr. Mark Simmons, ecologist at the Wildflower Center.  I asked both Mark and Julie about an improved turf grass option and neither of them knew about one. Mark did know that there is a Midway Mix available from Native American Seed that contains seeds for thirteen different native grasses including buffalograss.  Many of the grasses in that Midway Mix would not be considered turf grasses, however.  You might contact the Texas Department of Transportation about their Wildflower Program to see what native grasses they are using to seed roadsides along with the wildflowers.


More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Planting Habiturf in Houston, TX>
March 08, 2012 - First, I want to say thank you for such an informative site. You say that the Buffalograsses tend to do well in drier and well drained soil. My house has a lawn that drops about 10 inches in about...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for acreage in Denison TX
January 27, 2014 - I have recently moved to Denison TX where we have 5+ acres of true crosstimbers land. I am looking for a native turf grass that will do well in sandy soil and with the water provided by nature. The m...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Native Grasses for Houston, TX
April 06, 2015 - What native grasses can I use for my lawn in Houston, TX? It appears that Habiturf is not recommended for our climate. Is there another variety of seed available yet that I can use to start a small ...
view the full question and answer

Need something to compete with Virginia wild rye in Bristol, TN.
July 29, 2011 - I have been working for 4 years to convert a large area of sunny lawn (150' x 40') to a native woodland planting, using native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses. Although I used seeds of a variety ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center