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

Can Habiturf be planted by hydroseeding from Austin?
February 04, 2012 - We are thinking about seeding our lawn with HABITURF. Could you provide any input on whether HABITURF can be planted by hydroseeding? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Brooklyn, NY
January 25, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a fast growing ground cover for my Brooklyn, NY back yard. The area is nestled between 3 buildings and a fairly large tree, so most of the day its shady, but ...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant grass with little need for mowing for Hill Country of Texas
November 17, 2011 - What grass would you recommend for the hill country of Texas that is drought tolerant and does not need frequent mowing?
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