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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - January 22, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Low height, drought tolerant grass for Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best drought tolerant grass for Central Texas that can be used as a low height lawn? I remember seeing a news account (Austin TV) about some UT research at the Wildflower Center that developed a new heat/drought tolerant grass mix.

ANSWER:

You are, indeed, right that the Wildflower Center is doing ongoing research on native lawns.  You can read about it in our article, Native Lawns and you can see the research plots if you visit the Wildflower Center.  One of our Associates Suppliers, Native American Seed in Junction, has a 2:1 mix of Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) to Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) called Native Sun Turfgrass.  They also have the other major short turf grass used in the research, Hilaria belangeri (curly mesquite)Douglas King Seed Company in San Antonio also has all three grass seeds for sale.    

We have two "How to Articles" that you probably will want to read: 

1.  Native Lawns (not the same as the article above).  This article gives you the particulars of installing the 3 grasses mentioned above.

2.  Native Lawns: Buffalograss gives recommendations and tips for establishing a native lawn with only buffalograss.

Native American Seed also has a "how to" article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri

 

 

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