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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


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?


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

Muhlenbergia schreberi

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June 22, 2010 - Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
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August 09, 2012 - What's a good low maintenance, shade tolerant ground cover for the Pacific Northwest? It needs to have good erosion control, too.
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