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

Saturday - December 06, 2014

From: Clemson, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Potential ecosystem benefits to Carex flaccosperma
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am trying to find out if there are any ecosystem benefits associated with the plant Carex flaccosperma: Blue wood sedge?

ANSWER:

Carex flaccosperma (Thinfruit sedge), like other green plants that are photosynthesizing, is removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen—a definite benefit to the ecosystem—but I imagine you are looking for something unique that it might be doing.  Since it resembles the popular Asian liriope species that are considered invasive in some areas, it can be used as a substitute for liriope to be planted as an ornamental.  Replacing a potentially invasive non-native plant ranks as an ecosystem benefit in my estimation.  Cornell University Integrated Pest Management lists it as one of the Weed-Suppressive Groundcovers and the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council lists it as an alternative to the invasive Vinca minor (common periwinkle) on its Tennessee's Plant Alternatives to Exotic Invasives list.  I could find no information that Carex flaccosperma was capable of phytoremediation of any sort.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

Grass for detention pond in Illinois
October 06, 2008 - Hi, please advise regarding grass for bottom of detention pond. I have pond with drawdown time 4 days, what grass could survive being underwater 4 days, and not die? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Will buffalograss thrive in Ada OK?
May 08, 2013 - Would buffalo grass thrive in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, where my sandy loamie soil struggles with summer droughts?
view the full question and answer

Planting grass seed in Greenville SC
April 24, 2009 - What type of grass seed is best to use in a sunny/ shady area where some grass is already growing? And how is the best way to prep the area for seed and fertilizer or what should I do before and after...
view the full question and answer

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