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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

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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Sunday - March 07, 2010

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for a dry hillside in central Texas
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

We need to plant some plants or grasses on a 3/4 acre sloaping hillside which does not get watered. Any recommendations for native grasses or plants which don't need care and will keep the lot from eroding.

ANSWER:

Grasses and sedges form thick, fibrous root systems that hold soil in place, perfect for a hilly location.These are the plants you want to consider. There are so many possibilities. I will mention a few but you may want to explore our Plant Database yourself. Go to the Combination Search and indicate location, type of plant (grasses), duration (perennial), moisture (dry), and light requirement. You may prefer tall or short grasses or a particular appearance or coloration. This will give you an opportunity to look the possibilities over.

To find seeds or plants for your hillside, check out our Suppliers list for your area. You are close enough to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to consider attending our plant sale in April. Seeds for most of these grasses will be available there also.

You don't mention the amount of sunlight your area gets so I am going to assume from your location that it is full sun (6 or more hours sunlight a day). The following suggestions will tolerate dry soil and full sun. Thank you for being a Mr. Smarty Plants follower!

Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - the state grass of TX

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Muhlenbergia emersleyi (bullgrass)   

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)   

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)    

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)     

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)    

 


Achnatherum hymenoides

Bouteloua curtipendula

Carex texensis

Muhlenbergia emersleyi

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Nassella tenuissima

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

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