Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 02, 2010

From: Corpus Christi, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for South Texas Coast
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Grasses S. Texas Coast. Hello! I love all of the information available in your database Mr. Smarty Plants database (as well as the rest of the site) and find it quite useful on many fronts. My question has been addressed before but I didn't like the answer and I wanted to see what the next best options are.. I'm on a construction site that calls for the ground to be reseeded with bermuda and rye grasses, but from what I can tell neither of those are native/adapted for the Texas coast. Can I use one of the seed mixes from Native American Seed and it still work well and "unattended" after establishment on the coast? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Thank you for the kind words!  Mr. Smarty Plants applauds your intention to use native grasses instead of the non-native Cynodon dactylon (bermudagrass) and Lolium sp. (ryegrass).  Native American Seed's Coastal Prairie Mix sounds perfect for your purpose.  Not only does it have beautiful native grasses [e.g., Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem)] but the seeds were collected from the coastal prairie area from varieties well-adapted to the soils, the humidity and general climate of the area.  Additionally, there are forbs/wildflowers included in the mix [e.g., Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea), Croton monanthogynus (prairie tea)].  You should realize that  several of the grasses—e.g., Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)—are tall (6 to 8 feet) so your area is not going to look like an area planted in bermudagrass and ryegrass.  The tall grasses are beautiful to see, however, especially mixed with the other grasses and forbs/wildflowers and you will be helping to re-establish coastal prairie habitat for birds and other wildlife. Your question is very timely, by the way,  because now is the time to sow the seeds—in time for the spring rains.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
January 03, 2014 - I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
view the full question and answer

Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
May 04, 2015 - It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?
view the full question and answer

When do Habiturf® grasses make seeds?
June 16, 2015 - I planted Habiturf seeds last year near Dripping Springs. It looks like the Buffalo grass has had seeds on it for a week or 2. How long does it need to remain on the live Buffalo Grass before it can b...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion with grasses in Dallas, TX
October 19, 2013 - After consulting with several geological engineers and the city of Dallas engineers - we know that our severe erosion problem can only be fixed by building a 35' foot high gabion wall about 150' in ...
view the full question and answer

Move Roses or Ornamental Grasses in Crown Point, Indiana
September 15, 2010 - I have two ornamental grasses that grew real wide this year. They are blocking three big knock out roses that are four foot tall and four foot wide. My question is which one would be easier to dig up ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.