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

Friday - June 03, 2011

From: Winnsboro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native Grasses for Winnsboro, Texas
Answered by: Stephen Scace and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What would be a good grass to plant in East Texas near Winnsboro? My soil is sandy.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants loves short questions, as they tempt him to indulge his expansive conceptualization of native plants. He will, however, try to restrain himself by means of some carefully crafted interpretations. He considers "good grass" in this instance to mean "native species" and further, infers an open-minded willingness to consider taller species and not just the turf grasses. This tolerance of mind is important, because the leading native Texas turf-grass species, Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), lacks tolerance for sandy soils. Nevertheless, the other two species in our native turfgrass mix, Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri (Curly-mesquite), will grow in sandy soils but may not form as thick a turf as the Buffalograss mix.

Winnsboro lies at the north end of the Post Oak Savannah, part of the great North American tall-grass prairie, whose dominant species include Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) and Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)–lovely grasses all. They are also tall. Indeed, all but the Little bluestem grow three to six feet tall. If such a prairie's historical richness and ecological appropriateness fails to ignite your passion sufficiently to put up with what admittedly may resemble a jungle, Mr. Smarty Plants understands.

More moderately sized grasses native to the prairie include Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)–the state grass of Texas–and Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass). You can find more grasses for your area of North Central Texas in the Post Oak Savannah list on our Recommended Species page.  Use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH feature in the sidebar to limit the list to grasses by choosing "Grass/grass-like" from the GENERAL APPEARANCE option.

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native, full-sun, 4-in. evergreen grasses for Leander TX
November 07, 2011 - Help! I need a native Texas evergreen sedge/grass/ground cover for full-sun/hot/dry area between sidewalk and street. The plants will need to be kept about 4" high, if growth is higher it must be mow...
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
view the full question and answer

Native buffalograss for Round Rock, TX
September 14, 2009 - Hi, I am wondering what the best Buffalo grass selection would be for Round Rock, Tx? I have about 400 - 500 Sq Ft that boarders the street that I would like to maintain as a natural type of environme...
view the full question and answer

Water seepage problems in basement in Philadelphia
April 09, 2009 - I am interested in stopping/limiting water seepage into my basement by placing water absorbing ground plants along one or both sides. The grass we planted when home was new in July 2007 has taken on o...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center