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?

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
1 rating

Thursday - April 06, 2006

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Xeriscaping in clay on a slope in Fort Worth
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Xeriscaping in clay (Fort Worth) on a slope -- Please offer suggestions and publications. Thanks

ANSWER:

Since xeriscaping basically means landscaping with plants that can survive on normal rainfall, plants native to the Fort Worth area would probably do best for you, and there are many plants that do well in Fort Worth clays.

For a slope, grasses would be good because their fibrous roots hold the soil and help prevent erosion. A good regional grass with a great vertical form is Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). For vibrant color against the blue-green of Little Bluestem, try flowers like Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium), Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobea), and Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata). Local yuccas such as Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana) and Pale-Leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida) would make nice accent plants. A local shrub with attractive fall color is Fragrant Sumac (Rhus trilobata), and the ornamental tree Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) has pink blooms in the early spring.

Additional ideas for landscaping in the Forth Worth area can be found in Sally and Andy Wasowski's Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region. It contains both a Blackland plan (for black clay soils) and a Post Oak plan for North Texas areas dominated by Post Oaks.

For further species ideas, have a look at our Regional Factpack for your area. Our National Suppliers Directory can help you find sources for local plant material.

 

From the Image Gallery


Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Stiff greenthread
Thelesperma filifolium

Prairie penstemon
Penstemon cobaea

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Arkansas yucca
Yucca arkansana

Pale-leaf yucca
Yucca pallida

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Severely cutback sloping soil in Dripping Springs TX
May 09, 2010 - We have 5.5 acres off Henly Loop just north of Hwy 290 about 10 miles west of Dripping Springs, TX. The former property owners carved out soil from a sloping area to get soil for the driveway. Doing ...
view the full question and answer

Need help with lawn that was sodded with Buffalo Grass in Dallas, TX.
March 20, 2012 - I had buffalo sod put down last March. It greened up beautifully until weeds just about covered it up. I tried hand pulling. My landscaper showed up with something that appeared to damage the buffa...
view the full question and answer

Pathway material for Kerrville, TX
May 30, 2009 - I have removed the St Augustine, expanded a perennial bed of mostly natives and created a pathway along the new bed. Can you recommend a plant to use as a pathway? It should require low water, be hea...
view the full question and answer

Grass for detention pond in Illinois
October 06, 2008 - Hi, please advise regarding grass for bottom of detention pond. I have pond with drawdown time 4 days, what grass could survive being underwater 4 days, and not die? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Slope eroding in Martinsburg WV
May 05, 2010 - I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. My soil is shale/clay I am unable to grow grass it seems to burn up every year. It gets full sun and is on a hill. I have used topsoil and reseeded it...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center