En Espa—ol

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

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
view the full question and answer

Native lawn solution for Southeast Texas from Missouri City TX
May 05, 2012 - I noticed the native lawn article regarding Habiturf states it is for "North, West and Central Texas". What is the recommended native lawn solution for Southeast Texas/Gulf Coast (Houston/Galveston...
view the full question and answer

Herbicide use in bluebonnet field in Blanco, TX
April 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have the best of both worlds and the worst of both worlds. Iíve been throwing bluebonnet seeds for 6 years on our property near Blanco, and when it rains, as it has this year...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental bunch grasses to grow under live oak
June 25, 2007 - I love live oak trees and have one in the back yard that is growing nicely. I don't know if it's the shade or the leaf and acorn droppings that won't allow the grass to grow underneath it. Around...
view the full question and answer

Replenishing a fallow field in Central Geogia.
February 22, 2010 - I have recently taken a 54 acre field out of cultivation and would like to replenish the soil with native cover plants. There is a slope to a portion of the field that is experiencing some erosion. I...
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