En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 06, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas? The rough areas are no problem as a number of grass species could work. The fairways have more specific requirements. They need to withstand traffic and mowing yet still provide enough coverage so the course is not overly fast (bouncy). I am considering some of the improved buffalo grasses and the hybrid Texas Blue grass like the improved forms of Reveille. Blue Grama may be a possibility but I am not sure how much it will fill in with constant mowing. Are there others I am overlooking?

ANSWER:

This is a little out of the realm of experience for Mr. Smarty Plants. For instance, here is an article from eHow on Golf Course Grass Types for Texas. None of the plants listed in this article are even native to North America, much less Central Texas.

Ryegrass - from Aggie Horticulture, Ryegrass, Temporary  Sports Turf for the South.

Zoysiagrass - from Aggie Horticulture Zoysiagrass

Bentgrass - from Aggie Horticulture Bentgrass

Aggie Horticulture Bermudagrass

Habiturf, developed by the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is our recommended native turf grass. Please read this website from the Wildflower Center on Habiturf, and follow the link to instructions for installing and maintaining the grass, which is a mix of three native Texas grasses. In that linked article, under "Mowing" please note this line:

"Mow once every 3 to 5 weeks when growing and not at all when drought or cold dormant. Mowing shorter —2 inches or less— will damage your lawn's health."

Only you can judge if this grass will fulfill your requirements. Follow the three links below to our webpages on the three grass components of Habiturf for more information on each:

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)

Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama)

Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass)

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

More Non-Natives Questions

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID
June 29, 2009 - Can I plant Bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID? I would like to plant it but am concerned about the harsh winter killing it off.
view the full question and answer

Nativity of various bulbs
October 15, 2014 - Are the following bulbs native? Chionodoxa forbesii Camassia leichflinii Crocus Sprint tommasinianus Barr's Purple Hyacinthoides hispanica Narcissus 'Actea' Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty' ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf color in non-native sago palms
January 24, 2009 - I have two sego palms planted in my front yard. Lots of sun. The fronds have turned a lime green color instead of the dark green color. Please help...(alkaline soil)
view the full question and answer

Hours of darkness for non-native poinsettia to bloom
October 28, 2005 - I have a poinsettia from last Christmas still alive. I was told to get it so many hours of darkness. Do you know how many hours? When would be the best time to start displaying the plant again?
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center