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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 20, 2011

From: Manor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for horses in Manor, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, Can you tell me which native grasses to plant that would grow (and be drought tolerant) in the Manor area. The area we would like to plant seeds has some sun and part shade. There appear to be some native grasses growing (in clumps). The soil in our area is clay. Horses will be grazing in these pastures. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!

ANSWER:

There used to be a wonderful site (Forages of Texas) from the Texas AgriLife Research Center and Extension Service in Stephenville that described the nutritional value of native grasses.  Unfortunately, it no longer seems to exist.  However, from a previous answer I wrote to a question to Mr. Smarty Plants there are grasses that I can recommend from that site.

These are native grasses that will do well in Manor's clay soils and in sun and part shade.  They are all drought tolerant.

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) grows in sun, part shade and shade and is highly drought tolerant.

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern gamagrass) does best in moist soils, on stream banks or in seepy area.

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama) grows in sun and part shade and is the official state grass of Texas.  It is highly drought tolerant.

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) is considered to be one of the most nutritious of the prairie grasses and is highly drought tolerant.  It would be good for the areas that have full to almost full sun.  It doesn't do well in shady areas. 

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem) is a fair to good forage for horses.  It is highly drought tolerant and grows in sun and part shade.

Native American Seeds in Junction, Texas offers high quality native grass seeds and grass seed mixes for sale as well as wildflowers and wildflower/grass mixes.  They also have planting tips online. 

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Sorghastrum nutans


Tripsacum dactyloides


Bouteloua curtipendula


Bouteloua dactyloides


Schizachyrium scoparium

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Help with Habiturf from Bertram TX
March 24, 2014 - I am a resident of Bertram..about 45 min northwest of Austin. I have 1.33 acres of land with my home on it. My front pasture is pretty nice native grass but my backyard is full of weeds. I'm guessing...
view the full question and answer

Shade Tolerant Grasses and Groundcovers for Waco TX
March 15, 2013 - What is the best shade-tolerant grass? What is the best shade-tolerant ground cover?
view the full question and answer

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Speed of bluestem grass spreading in Georgia red clay from Dallas GA
May 13, 2012 - How fast does bluestem spread in Georgia red clay?
view the full question and answer

Native Grass is Falling Over
November 09, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've tried to find this answer but am stumped as to the cause. We live in Fredericksburg, TX and have several different tall grasses, Yellow Indian grass, Little Bluestem, wire...
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