Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
1 rating

Tuesday - October 27, 2009

From: Cedar Creek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses and weeds. The highway department has started using it along the roadways. The guide thought the name might be Midway mix. I cannot find any information about this grass. Please tell me its name and where it can be purchased?

ANSWER:

Turffalo is a Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) hybrid developed by Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and Frontier Hybrids.  The Wildflower Center does have experimental plots of it growing.  You can read the assessments of the turffalo plots by Julie Krosley, our senior horticulturist.  You can also read about the research on native turf grasses being conducted by Dr. Mark Simmons, ecologist at the Wildflower Center.  I asked both Mark and Julie about an improved turf grass option and neither of them knew about one. Mark did know that there is a Midway Mix available from Native American Seed that contains seeds for thirteen different native grasses including buffalograss.  Many of the grasses in that Midway Mix would not be considered turf grasses, however.  You might contact the Texas Department of Transportation about their Wildflower Program to see what native grasses they are using to seed roadsides along with the wildflowers.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Grass information for Brooksville FL
July 31, 2010 - Do you have any suggestions of seeding rates,row spacing, or size of plugs for restoration of Panicum rigidulum or Panicum abscissum? Basically interested in a pasture planting with cutthroat gras...
view the full question and answer

Native Grass Lawn For Georgia
January 20, 2015 - Grass in Atlanta when I was little (I am 50 years old and have lived in Atlanta most of my life) was of a fescue variety. Bermuda grasses were considered "rich person's grass" when I was young. M...
view the full question and answer

Can fibrous roots of Chasmanthium latifolium damage house foundation
May 03, 2013 - Dear Mr.Ms. S-P, Can the fibrous roots of inland sea oats cause foundation problems? I was digging around my foundation and found a root about 1" in diameter that I am afraid might be from sea oa...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to provide nitrogen for compost in Houston
March 27, 2010 - I leave my clippings on the lawn so I don't have enough 'green' for my compost. I'd like to plant an unobtrusive area with some native that I can mow on a monthly basis. The area is in partial...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for a pasture in Hays County, Texas with horses
March 20, 2015 - I intend to sow grass seed over a few acres of pasture on which I'll have a couple of horses in Driftwood, TX. I'd like to know what variety of seed(s) would be most beneficial to the land - and th...
view the full question and answer

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