En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX

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

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Native prairie grasses for East Texas
September 19, 2013 - What are the best grasses for native east texas prairie grass reestablishment, I have a small acreage I would like to turn into native grass land.
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mexican feathergrass in Austin
September 21, 2010 - All of my mexican feathergrass plants have died or gone dormant, laying down flat for the most part. Any idea what's going on with them?
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives to St. Augustine for under an Arizona Ash
October 12, 2006 - I live in Mansfield, TX. We have a large Arizona Ash tree in our back yard. No grass will grow under it. We are thinking of laying sod (St. Augustine) there. Is this a good solution and if so, whe...
view the full question and answer

Survival of native lawn in Hockley TX
August 02, 2011 - I'm on the edge of the Katy Prairie and a very large ranch with full blasting sun and completely open exposure. The soil is fill from the developers with more clay than sand, a minimum of nutrients,...
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