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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 31, 2010

From: Brooksville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grass information for Brooksville FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you have any suggestions of seeding rates,row spacing, or size of plugs for restoration of Panicum rigidulum or Panicum abscissum? Basically interested in a pasture planting with cutthroat grass on ranchland, but I may be able to use redtop info as similar more well-known species. Thanks

ANSWER:

Please don't let this get around, but Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't know everything. We have to depend on research to find answers to many of our questions, and when there doesn't appear to be any research on the subject, we have to admit it. We are going to tell you what we know about the two grasses you have mentioned, both of which are native to North America and to Florida. 

Panicum rigidulum (redtop panicgrass) is native not only to the area on the central west coast of Florida where Hernando County is, but also to several other states. Panicum abscissum, on the other hand is endemic only to central Florida, and is not known to grow anywhere else in North America. Obviously, both can tolerate the USDA Hardiness Zones of 9a to 9b in which you live. 

We found very little research or information on either grass. On Panicum rigidulum (redtop panicgrass), here is one from the USGS Northern Prairie Widlife Center on Redtop panicum.   Also, there was a long research paper from a government agency in Florida called Cutthroat Grass Communities. We hope it had some of the information you needed; our eyes glaze over at about the third line of research papers. 

Your next best bet is to contact the University of Florida Extension Office for Hernando County.  These are people who are in contact with specialists in that sort of thing and can possibly even provide you with printed instructions. Beyond that, a good source of information is always that from suppliers of plants. Go to our National Suppliers Directory, type your town and state into the "Enter Search Information" box and you will get a list of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and consultants in your general area. All have contact information and websites.

Images of Panicum rigidulum from Google

Images of Panicum abscissum from Google

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
October 05, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
view the full question and answer

wildflowers with interesting seed heads for winter interest
January 09, 2015 - I am looking to establish a wildflower meadow this year, and I want to include wildflowers that have interesting seed heads for winter interest. What would be your recommendation? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Native grasses palatable for horses and eliminating KR bluestem.
January 11, 2008 - Looking for native Texas grasses which are palatable for horses, to overseed in areas which are currently overrun with KR bluestem. What are the best grasses and best way to accomplish this? (SW Gi...
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