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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - June 16, 2011

From: Birmingham, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Grass for sunny or shady slope in Birmingham AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What kind of grass grows well in the shade or sun on a sloping landscape?

ANSWER:

 As we told you in our previous answer, using our Native Plant Database to search for the perfect plants for your garden will help you have a water conserving, suitable plant for your area. For the grasses, however, we are going to suggest that you search the database directly instead of the Recommended Species. For a number of states, we just don't have the information for Recommended Species on very many grasses native to those states, and you will get more choice this way.

Using the Combination Search on that page, you will select on Alabama and "grasses or grass-like plants" and be sure to indicate a Light Requirement on each search, as you say you have both sun and shade on your slope. Remember, these may not be turf grasses as for a lawn, but grasses with their long fibrous roots are the best way to stabilize a slope and prevent erosion.

Grass for sun - Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (Silver beard grass) - perennial, sun, low water use.

Grass for shade -Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - perennial, medium water use, part shade or shade.

 

From the Image Gallery


Silver beard grass
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

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