En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 25, 2013

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am trying to replace some maiden grasses that died during the drought. I want an evergreen grass or something soft looking to replace them. I want something that is native and 5 to 6 feet tall to serve as a screen to the street. Would you please suggest something? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that was also looking for a replacement for maiden grass. Apparently, plants referred to as "maiden grass" all are members of the Poaceae (grass) familly. specifically, Miscanthus sinensis, which is native to southeast Asia. That question came from Brazoria County TX, which possibly has different soils and rainfall from Gillespie County, and you are asking for a taller grass, so we will go to our Native Plant Database. scroll down the page to the Combination Search, select on Texas for the state, "grass or grass-like" for Habit, "dry" for Soil Moisture and a size range of 3 ft to 6 ft. We will add "evergreen" to our initial search, but cannot promise that we will get any at all, grasses are seldom evergreen. We will also check the USDA Plant Profile Map on each plant to ensure that it grows in or near Gillespie County and can therefore be expected to do well in your climate, rainfall and soils.

We were right, that search yielded exactly one plant: Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol). It is a desert perennial, but it does grow in Gillespie County, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map.  It might be just what you want, but we will go back and eliminate "evergreen" from our search to give you some more choices.

Tall grasses for Gillespie County:

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (Silver beard grass)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Tridens flavus (Purpletop tridens)

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions, expected mature growth height, etc. You did not list the amount of sunlight the area will get, that could affect whether all these grasses would do well there, so be sure and check for Light Requirements on each page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas sotol
Dasylirion texanum

Silver beard grass
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Lindheimer's muhly
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Purpletop tridens
Tridens flavus

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for hill in Saint Mary's County, Maryland
September 18, 2010 - Is there a native grass or grasses I can mow on a hill that faces south and is too large to water in Saint Marys County, Maryland?
view the full question and answer

Need native plants to place in chicken coop in Charolette, NC
September 20, 2014 - Hi, I live near Charlotte, NC. I'm looking for native plants that I can plant in my chicken coop that will produce food for the chickens. If they also produced some delicious food for me, I wouldn't...
view the full question and answer

Inland sea oats as backfrop for pigeon berry
August 20, 2007 - I am thinking of using inland sea oats as a backdrop for pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) in a shady area along my foundation. Will this combination work, or will the sea oats outcompete the pigeon berr...
view the full question and answer

Aggressive native Inland Sea Oats in Whitehouse Station NJ
April 29, 2010 - Can you direct me to a source of help managing a very aggressive grass, Chasmanthium latifolia, Woodland Oats or Indian Sea Oats. It is behaving like a very noxious plant and I am concerned as I am h...
view the full question and answer

Invasive phragmites from New Egypt NJ
July 30, 2011 - I have some wetland near a road. It has been taken over by phragmites. How is the best way to remove these grasses and add some diversity to this area. The area in question is approx. 100 by 30 feet.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center