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

Plants for a drainage easement in central Texas
September 29, 2008 - I have a 1/3 acre of drainage easement behind my home. I would like to cover it with wildflowers. It is only wet during or shortly after a rain and otherwise does not have water. I have channelled ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Creating a wildflower meadow
May 18, 2013 - I have an area 1-6 acres worth that is currently grass that I would like to overseed with wildflower seed. The local native plant nursery says that would be a waste. I don't really want to kill gra...
view the full question and answer

Help with Habiturf from Bertram TX
March 24, 2014 - I am a resident of Bertram..about 45 min northwest of Austin. I have 1.33 acres of land with my home on it. My front pasture is pretty nice native grass but my backyard is full of weeds. I'm guessing...
view the full question and answer

Types of Eragrostis lovegrasses that will survive in Northern Wisconsin
May 21, 2007 - I am interested in plains lovegrass, and know that it primarily grows in southern climates. Do you think it could thrive in northern Wisconsin if it is planted in a protected area? Could it survive ...
view the full question and answer

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