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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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Monday - July 27, 2015

From: Northville , MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Replacement for Love Grass in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

need a replacement for Love Grass at Shops of Willow Bend in Plano. The entire perimeter of this mall has Bermuda and Love Grass. The Elms and Oaks have grown so the Love Grass is mostly gone. There is at least a mile of this so we need a plant to seed in. Carex texensis sounded perfect? But I don't think we can get it in seed? is there another option? I am a Land Arch in Michigan working with Brickman contractors..

ANSWER:

A Carex species would be a very good choice for replacement of the love grass.  Most of them are evergreen and do well in shade.  They are usually sold as bedding plants and it is difficult to find them as seeds.   However, I did find that  Prairie Moon Nursery in Winona, Minnesota has seeds for a large variety of sedges. Here are a few that might do well at your site:

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) does well in shade and part shade and grows to a height of about 8 inches.  Here is the description from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Another sedge, Carex sprengelii (Sprengel's sedge), has an ornamental seed head and grows well in shade and partial shade to a height of 2 feet.  Here is the description from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Carex radiata (Eastern star sedge) grows well in shade and part shade to a height of 12 inches.  Here is the description from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Carex eburnea (Bristleleaf sedge) grows in full sun to full shade to a height of 6 inches.  Here is the description from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge) is evergreen grows in full sun to full shade to 2 feet high.  Here is the description from Prairie Moon Nursery.

One attractive perennial grass that grows well in partial to full shade is Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats).

 

From the Image Gallery


Pennsylvania sedge
Carex pensylvanica

Eastern star sedge
Carex radiata

Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

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