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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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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 - April 04, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seeds and Seeding, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?

ANSWER:

Follow this link, Muhlenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill), to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions. According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is native to Texas but not to Dallas County. According to both our webpage and other references this plant needs a moist soil, which  does not sound like drought resistant to us. Furthermore, in several of the references it was referred to as a weed and accused of invasiveness. If you decide you want to try it anyway, go to our National Suppliers Directory in the "Enter Search Location" box and click GO. You will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information, so you can find out if they carry what you need before you start out to shop.

Here is an article from Pennsylvania State University that refers to nimblewill as a weed. More and more, we are recommending other ways than lawn grass to deal with dry or shady areas. If you are interested, you might read some of these previous Mr. Smarty Plants answers:

Xeriscape in Austin

Native Groundcovers for Texas

 

From the Image Gallery


Nimblewill
Muhlenbergia schreberi

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December 16, 2010 - I have read your articles on your mix of three native seeds for turf grass and on other native grasses but am left with a couple of lingering questions. We have about a 600 sq. ft area we want to plan...
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