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
4 ratings

Friday - January 22, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Low height, drought tolerant grass for Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best drought tolerant grass for Central Texas that can be used as a low height lawn? I remember seeing a news account (Austin TV) about some UT research at the Wildflower Center that developed a new heat/drought tolerant grass mix.

ANSWER:

You are, indeed, right that the Wildflower Center is doing ongoing research on native lawns.  You can read about it in our article, Native Lawns and you can see the research plots if you visit the Wildflower Center.  One of our Associates Suppliers, Native American Seed in Junction, has a 2:1 mix of Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) to Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) called Native Sun Turfgrass.  They also have the other major short turf grass used in the research, Hilaria belangeri (curly mesquite)Douglas King Seed Company in San Antonio also has all three grass seeds for sale.    

We have two "How to Articles" that you probably will want to read: 

1.  Native Lawns (not the same as the article above).  This article gives you the particulars of installing the 3 grasses mentioned above.

2.  Native Lawns: Buffalograss gives recommendations and tips for establishing a native lawn with only buffalograss.

Native American Seed also has a "how to" article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Care of buffalo grass after wet season
August 15, 2007 - I'm asking for your advice on what to do with my buffalo grass lawn. With all this rain, I've managed to pull the weeds as they pop up in my front yard, and it looks good, except for a couple of...
view the full question and answer

Plants for creek bank in North Carolina
April 29, 2011 - I would like a list of plant options to plant on an almost vertical creek bank in some location in Charlotte, NC. The creek runs through a 300 acre basin, maybe 3 or 4' high banks and I have never se...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf care from Plano TX
July 03, 2014 - Five weeks ago, we planted a Habiturf lawn in our back yard. The grass looks great and is already about 6 inches. I have two questions to solve before we do the front yard. We have lots of purslane m...
view the full question and answer

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