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?


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

Monday - August 26, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Ornamental grass next to golf course pond
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I need an ornamental grass or shrub that will grow on a terrace next to a golf course pond and be ~ 3' of height. The plant will receive afternoon sun, must survive periodic flooding in the spring and have low water needs.


Here are three grasses that have the potential to do well on your terrace.   Please read the GROWING CONDITIONS area on each of the species page to see if they will match the sun/shade and moisture features of your site.

Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem) does best in full sun (more than 6 hours of sun per day).  It can handle flooding and on the edge of the pond will probably have enough moisture to do well.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) does best in shade (less than 2 hours of sun per day) and part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day).  It likes moisture but in shade or part shade should be fine.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) is a beautiful grass although, at maturity, is taller than you wanted.  It will tolerate saturated soil and will grow in sun, part shade and shade.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.


From the Image Gallery

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Sorghastrum nutans

Sorghastrum nutans

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Bioswale in Orange CA
September 08, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for plants for a bio-swale in Southern California. Do you have any suggestions for plants that do well in water but can also can handle long dry summers?
view the full question and answer

Will Habiturf be chicken feed from New Caney TX
November 21, 2013 - How well does your recommended native turf grass mix hold up against chickens or do double duty as feed? I have a mixed use property that will house Rabbits, Poultry (chickens/duck/geese), and ev...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

Native, full-sun, 4-in. evergreen grasses for Leander TX
November 07, 2011 - Help! I need a native Texas evergreen sedge/grass/ground cover for full-sun/hot/dry area between sidewalk and street. The plants will need to be kept about 4" high, if growth is higher it must be mow...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, and/or invasive bermudagrass, St. Augustine and Pistache from Houston
September 24, 2012 - Our St. Augustine lawn died suddenly this summer from either chinch bugs or grub worms (or both?), and a multitude of weeds and native Bermuda have taken over the area. Now that the weather has cooled...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center