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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

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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - October 11, 2012

From: Kingsland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants has a couple of ways to assemble that list.

The first is the direct way. If you go to the “Mr Smarty Plants” link under EXPLORE PLANTS, you will see that you can search Smarty Plants for keywords.  Inserting “groundcover” gets you way too many responses [256].  All of these give you lists and recommendations for groundcovers.  Here are some pretty good answers for places close to Kingsland:

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
Groundcover for Austin yard
Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
Grass for shady area

  These are all lists that Mr Smarty Plants put together for specific situations in nearby cities. 

  Another approach is to make your own list.  Under “RECOMMENDED SPECIES” – there are lists for both Central Texas and the Edwards Plateau.  If you choose “Grass/Grass-like” under General Appearance for the Edwards Plateau collection, 48 different natives will be selected.  Groundcovers are a bit harder to sort out, but if you choose Herbs and 0-1 feet tall, there will results a list of 49 low plants, most of which will make a good groundcover.  

Here are some pictures from excellent choices from those listings.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Curly-mesquite
Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

New gardener on lawn for Poolville TX
April 28, 2012 - I have never had the opportunity to have a nice yard until recently when I got married. My husband loves a nice yard and we have worked very hard and put in hours of work. We are learning by trial a...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Lighthouse Point FL
April 13, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am looking for mowable ground cover for part of my back yard. Due to a Mahogany tree, a hammock, surrounding foliage and a fence, there is alot of shade in the area, alon...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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Native flower bed with part sun
December 05, 2008 - I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
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Plants for a bank too steep to mow
June 24, 2009 - Like the inquiry made in late June of 2008, mine involves a bank that is too steep to mow. However, ours is facing south. I am looking for a native grass, plant or groundcover. Any suggestions? ...
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