Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Plants for steep clay bank in Summerfield OH
April 07, 2012 - Hello, We have a steep 15-20 foot high bank behind our house here in southern Ohio. Probably 50 ft.long. What could we plant for beauty and erosion control. It is nasty clay soil with lots of shale an...
view the full question and answer

Alternative to Habiturf™ for San Franciso area
October 05, 2014 - Will Habiturf thrive in San Francisco? My current sod lawn is dying because the soil has become extremely hard. I'll replace the top couple of inches but underneath is a mix of sand and clay.
view the full question and answer

Grasses for a wildflower meadow in Greenville, SC
August 17, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been establishing a wildflower meadow in Greenville, SC. Our current wildflowers are: Purple Coneflower Perennial Black-eyed Susans Cardinal Flower Butte...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Panama City, FL
May 10, 2013 - I live in zone 9 in Florida. We are looking for plants which will be attractive all year long for the front of our house's landscaping which faces north. I need a specimen bush which doesn't get ov...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for Ontario, Canada
June 17, 2009 - Is there a grower/distributor of Buffalo Grass in Canada? I want to seed it soon. Thanks
view the full question and answer

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