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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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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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Saturday - October 24, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Problems with Mexican feathergrass
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live in Austin. I've recently seen negative comments re: Mexican feathergrass. Is it native to this area? Is it becoming a problem? I have had it in my yard for years and never considered it a problem. I do notice that it can be quite prolific, but it's also very easy to pull out.

ANSWER:

You are lucky to have thriving Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass).  It is native to the mountains of west Texas and New Mexico, where it receives good drainage and relatively dry soils.  In our area the main problem is keeping it alive.  Mexican feathergrass can suffer from over-care, i.e., too much moisture and the heavy application of mulch.  Our good intentions often result in root rot. So keep doing what you have been doing and enjoy this beautiful grass.

 

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