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
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

Flowering native perennials for St. Louis
August 09, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to landscape a yard that sits on rocky clay soil in St. Louis, MO. The front yard has been difficult because of its brutal southern exposure - the afternoon sun ...
view the full question and answer

Pine bark on non-native St. Augustine grass in Kingwood TX
May 12, 2010 - I had two large Pine trees cut down. In the process of cutting the trees down there is a lot of pine bark from the tree on my St Augustine grass. Will this affect the growth of my grass?
view the full question and answer

Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
March 09, 2013 - We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
view the full question and answer

Strip Groundcover for Austin, TX
February 19, 2015 - I live in a condo in Austin (near N Lamar and North Loop), and am on the HOA board. There is a small strip of land along the back of the units, used mostly for access for maintenance - it ranges from ...
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center