En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 16, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seed and Plant Sources, Water Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Source for Saltmarsh cordgrass from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I work for a consulting firm and we are looking to do more of our wetland creation/restoration. Do you know where one can purchased Spartina alterniflora?

ANSWER:

According to our webpage on  Spartina alterniflora (Saltmarsh cordgrass) it is indeed useful for wetlands restoration. The webpage also says that it is mostly used in the northeast, but this USDA Plant Profile Map shows that it grows natively in the Harris County area. This previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer recommends it as a wetlands grass, but that question was from New York City.

This article from the National Wildlife Refuge Association has this comment:

"Although Spartina alterniflora is valuable in its native range, when it is introduced into the mudflats and salt marshes of West Coast ecosystems it becomes invasive and damages the native habitat. These West Coast ecosystems do not have the same insects found in the plant’s native range, which feed on the plant and control its spread."

If it were classified as a noxious, invasive weed in some parts of the country, you might have some difficulty obtaining seeds. Possibly some local grower in your area could be persuaded to let you gather seed.

If not, go to our National Suppliers Directory, put your town name and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Location Box" and click on GO. This will get you a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. All should have contact information so you can find out if they have available what you are looking for.

 

From the Image Gallery


Saltmarsh cordgrass
Spartina alterniflora

More Water Gardens Questions

Plants for retention ponds in Grand Haven, MI
July 21, 2009 - I am president of a condo association. We have three retention ponds on the property. From two of them we pump water for irrigation so the water level goes up and down. We are going to try to stabiliz...
view the full question and answer

Effect of herbicides on frogs
December 10, 2007 - I live in a planned development adjacent to a natural waterway that contains native and non native plants. It also is an amphibian habitat with many frogs. The landscape manager has sprayed the ar...
view the full question and answer

Note on pond over oak roots from Round Rock TX
December 23, 2012 - Thanks very much to Barbara for answering my question about the live oaks - covering parts of their root systems with a pond. Your answer inspired discussion, and we changed our pond plan and moved th...
view the full question and answer

Wetland Plants for Michigan
March 20, 2010 - I have an area on my wooded property with a wetland marsh area that often puddles with water along the perimeter in the spring. It is very shaded and wet but I wanted to camouflage the perimeter of t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for edge of intermittent stream
July 05, 2009 - I have a friend in Washington DC who is having runoff problems. She is having a drycreek installed. What kind of plants are native to her area that will withstand flash flood and intermittent dry co...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center