En Español

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
4 ratings

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

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Shade grasses for central Texas
November 16, 2014 - We are new to the area and bought a home this summer that has lots of shade in the very small backyard. The problem is that there was new sod laid in the backyard which now is 50% dead. We do not kno...
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

Plants for full-sun landscape
November 20, 2007 - I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
view the full question and answer

Overseeding sprig planting of native grass in Kansas
September 12, 2009 - Can I overseed a Sprig planting of native grass in Kansas in the Fall?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a 45 degree slope in Falls Church, VA.
January 23, 2013 - Have a 45 degree hillside 50 feet wide by 60 feet long on north side of 26 story building. Very little sun with the need for soil retention plants. Would like a native plant or plants to cover area...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center