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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

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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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!

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Monday - March 24, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native turf grass for Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which those plants are being grown; in your case, Travis County Texas. Liriope (monkey grass, lilyturf) is native to East Asia. It grows aggressively,  spreading by runners, and often becomes invasive.

Happily, you have sun, which is a very good environment for Habiturf, developed by the Ecosystems Design Group of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (home of Smarty Plants). About ten minutes ago, we answered another question about this mix of native grasses, and ask that you read that previous question, saving us the trouble of retyping.

 

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