En Espa—ol

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

Thursday - July 18, 2013

From: Bucks County, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grasses for Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What type of grass does the best in my area?

ANSWER:

Assuming you want information about lawn grasses, the article, Turf Grass Species for Pennsylvania from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences is an excellent source of information for lawn grasses in your area.  It is obvious that they have done lots of research and provide detailed information about hardiness, diseases, fertilizing and much more for several lawn grass species.  Many of the species they talk about are introduced species but they do list a couple of native grasses.  It should be noted that those two native grasses also have introduced varieities.  Since our mission here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes," I won't be recommending that you plant non-native grasses.  That doesn't mean that the introduced species are necessarily bad—it just means we hope you will consider planting native species.  The two native species recommended in the article from Penn State are:

Here are some very wise tips from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for maintaining your lawn no matter what grass you decide to use. 

If you are looking for grasses for meadows or fields or for ornamentals in your garden, you can go to our Native Plants Database and select "Poaceae (Grass Family)" by scrolling down the list in the Family: slot.  This will give you a list of all grasses in our Native Plant Database, but you can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the list to Pennsylvania grasses by selecting your state from the Select State of Province slot.  You will then have a list of 164 grasses native to Pennsylvania that you can scroll through, many with photos.  You can use other criteria (e.g., Light Requirement, Soil Moisture, Height) to narrow this list even further.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Groundcover for Bonsall, CA
October 17, 2012 - I live in Bonsall, CA. (San Diego) I have 3 acres, flat and sloped that are graded dirt. (DG and sheep poop from previous owner). It is getting close to mud season and I'd like to plant winter cover...
view the full question and answer

Grass for area under pecans in Abilene, TX
January 01, 2009 - I have two large pecan trees in my back yard. Grass has always been hard to grow under these two trees, but lately all grass seems to have "vanished" and I'm left with mostly bare soil. Is there ...
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

Would Habiturf or buffalograss work in Charlottesville VA
July 18, 2012 - Hello, I am looking for an alternative to traditional turf grasses. I stumbled upon some information on your site about buffalo grass and LBJWC's 'Habiturf' mix and would like to know if this w...
view the full question and answer

Winter expectations for Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides)
October 08, 2007 - I planted some buffalo grass (from seed) in April of this year. Iíve got a nice patch now, though itís starting to brown up some. Iím wondering what to expect from this patch over the winter- will i...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center