En EspaŅol

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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 18, 2010

From: Saint Marys, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for hill in Saint Mary's County, Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Is there a native grass or grasses I can mow on a hill that faces south and is too large to water in Saint Marys County, Maryland?


Mr. Smarty Plants is a little confused and thinks some translation needs to be done on your question.  I am confused about the 'mow' part of the question and think perhaps you meant to say 'sow'?  Assuming that's the case, here is how you can choose some grasses for the hill.  You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH  in our Native Plant Database by selecting 'Maryland' from Select State or Province and 'Grass/Grass-like' from Habit (general appearance).  This will give you more than 340 grasses or grass-like plants native to Maryland to look through.  You can shorten the list by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option. Since I don't the other characteristics of the hill I can't be sure what choices you need to make.  For instance, if your hill is in sun and dry and you want the grass to be less than 3 feet tall, you would select 'Sun -' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT, 'Dry-' from SOIL MOISTURE and both '0-1' and '1-3' from HEIGHT (IN FEET).  This would narrow the list to 15 species.  (The characteristics you put in, of course, will change the number of species in the list.) You can open the links for each of the grasses and find that many of them will tolerate other growing conditions as well.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you specifically if these are native to Saint Marys County.  For most states it is possible to find this out by scrolling to the bottom of our species page and clicking on the species link by the USDA under ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.  This will take you to the USDA Plants Database.  Clicking on the state on the Distribution Map (or on its abbreviation in the list below the map) on the USDA page would show you a map of the state with counties highlighted where the plant has been found.  However, the USDA Plants Database doesn't have that information for Maryland for some reason.

With all that said and done, here are several grasses and sedges native to Maryland that are commercially available that should work on your hill.  You, of course, can search for more that meet your specific requirements.

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Bromus kalmii (Arctic brome)

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Koeleria macrantha (Prairie junegrass)

Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie dropseed)

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bromus kalmii

Carex blanda

Carex pensylvanica

Koeleria macrantha

Sporobolus heterolepis





More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Sources for native plants from Austin TX
December 19, 2012 - Hello. I am currently planning a Texas native plant garden. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the seeds/bulbs/roots/plants for some of the natives at local nurseries: Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum ...
view the full question and answer

Dead, brown Habiturf lawn
July 07, 2015 - I planted Habiturf seeds last fall and had a good lawn all winter. Now the grass is brown and dead. Did it drown with all the rain we have had? If so, what should I do now? If not, what should I do...
view the full question and answer

Plants for North Myrtle Beach SC
June 05, 2012 - What plants will do well at North Myrtle Beach, SC that will take full sun with dry soil?
view the full question and answer

Planting of Habiturf from Smithville TX
March 25, 2012 - Are Habiturf and Thunderturf the same? and, how late in the year can I plant Habiturf?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center