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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Saturday - May 22, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Non-invasive, drought tolerant turf grass for Brownsville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Since Bermudagrass is considered "invasive" by many in the industry, what drought tolerant, non-invasive turf grass would you recommend for South Texas lawns? (Brownsville area)

ANSWER:

From this University of California Integrated Pest Management Program site on Cynadon dactylon, bermudagrass, you will learn why this non-native, invasive grass is a bad idea for turf grasses.

On the other hand, using the native grasses of a growth habit to lend themselves to a mowed lawn requires sunlight, 6 or more hours a day of it. There are native grasses that will do that, but if you don't have that much sun for your lawn, you may have to go to alternate plans, like ground covers or mulch in the shady areas.

Please read these two How-To Articles: Native Lawns: Buffalograss and Native Lawns:Multi-Species. Then, from our Conservation section, read this article on Native Lawns. There is some repetition among these three articles but they represent the advance in research on lawns for Texas. The three grasses mentioned as useful as a mix, Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite), are all native in or near to Cameron County at the southernmost tip of Texas. Native American Seed now has available what they call a native shortgrass kit Thunder Turf.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for Georgia
March 26, 2009 - I am new to Georgia by way of Colorado and would like to plant a drought resistant, tough grass/sod alternative in my backyard. Would buffalo / grama grass do ok in this climate? My backyard doesn’t...
view the full question and answer

Dividing Gulf muhly in Leander TX
October 16, 2010 - I purchased a 1-gallon pot of Gulf Muhly (muhlenbergia capillaris) and am wondering if I can divide the clump in order to make my purchase go further. And, regarding that method of propagation, could...
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

Riverbank Plants for Minnesota
September 04, 2013 - I would like to stablize a steep riverbank slope along the Upper Mississippi in St. Cloud MN. The slopes are almost 1:1. We are using an open cell concrete matt in which we are going to plant native...
view the full question and answer

When to plant grasses on Long Island, NY
December 06, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants; Are there any grass seeds that I can plant NOW, early December, on Long Island, NY? The planting environment is on and near a sandy bluff on a bayshore, where it can be windy ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center