Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

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.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
June 23, 2009 - I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit roug...
view the full question and answer

Mowing Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)
July 05, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Although I see you have posted some information about mowing Buffalograss it doesn't seem to answer my question. Will it hurt to mow the buffalograss flags off? Will t...
view the full question and answer

Restoring a slope in the Mississippi sandhill region
August 01, 2011 - We are building on 5 acres (leaving 60% as is, natural). Only building a small (900-1200 sq ft house) & clearing 1 acre of the valley for a pond. There is a steep slope (where we had to put field dra...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
view the full question and answer

TIF 419 Bermudagrass vs. Zoysia
September 03, 2008 - I'm currently faced with the decision to sod my yard with TIF 419 or Zoysia. Zoysia is double the price so my knee jerk reaction is to go with Bermuda. Proponents of Zoysia claim it requires less m...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.