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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - September 19, 2013

From: Klondike, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native prairie grasses for East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

First, there are several prairie restoration organizations with a wealth of information to help you in your very worth project.  You might start by looking at the information from the Native Prairies Association of Texas.  In particular, see Planting a Tallgrass Prairie: What to Plant.

Here are some of the grasses they name on that page that grow in Delta County or an adjacent county.

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern gamagrass)

Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)

Here are some other grasses native to your East Texas area that would do well in your prairie.

Bothriochloa laguroides (Silver bluestem)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Native American Seed in Junction TX has a Prairie Starter Mix with most of the grasses named above as well as a few more.

You might also find several of our "How to Articles" useful, especially Recreating a Prairie.  You might also like to visit Clymer's Meadow Preserve, the largest tract of tallgrass prairie in Texas located in adjacent Hunt County.

There is more information about prairie restoration at Prairie Parcel Restoration from Teacher Research Associates (TRAC) Program at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia Illinois and at Prairie Restoration from Prairie Plains Resource Institute in Nebraska.

 

From the Image Gallery


Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Eastern gamagrass
Tripsacum dactyloides

Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Silver beard grass
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Grass-planting time in Mt. Pleasant, TX
December 15, 2010 - We are new to Texas and just finished building a house. The builder wants to seed the grass now (December). Will it germinate or will we have to replant in spring?
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Yard grass that cows like to eat in Dale, TX
September 03, 2012 - I need to know of a good grass seed to plant in the yard that will also be eaten by our cows. Prefer one that doesn't have any type of stickers/cocker burrs.
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Native plants to provide nitrogen for compost in Houston
March 27, 2010 - I leave my clippings on the lawn so I don't have enough 'green' for my compost. I'd like to plant an unobtrusive area with some native that I can mow on a monthly basis. The area is in partial...
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Removing Purple Top Tridens out of Mt Pleasant Texas
April 07, 2011 - We would like to know how to kill these Purple Top Triden out of our garden. Thanks, Judy
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East Texas grasses for holding soils
September 17, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about the East Texas area: Specifically, which natvie grasses can be planted to hold the soil/new roads through the winter? Here is the situation: (Against...
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