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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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Saturday - May 22, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Non-invasive, drought tolerant turf grass for Brownsville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Since Bermudagrass is considered "invasive" by many in the industry, what drought tolerant, non-invasive turf grass would you recommend for South Texas lawns? (Brownsville area)

ANSWER:

From this University of California Integrated Pest Management Program site on Cynadon dactylon, bermudagrass, you will learn why this non-native, invasive grass is a bad idea for turf grasses.

On the other hand, using the native grasses of a growth habit to lend themselves to a mowed lawn requires sunlight, 6 or more hours a day of it. There are native grasses that will do that, but if you don't have that much sun for your lawn, you may have to go to alternate plans, like ground covers or mulch in the shady areas.

Please read these two How-To Articles: Native Lawns: Buffalograss and Native Lawns:Multi-Species. Then, from our Conservation section, read this article on Native Lawns. There is some repetition among these three articles but they represent the advance in research on lawns for Texas. The three grasses mentioned as useful as a mix, Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite), are all native in or near to Cameron County at the southernmost tip of Texas. Native American Seed now has available what they call a native shortgrass kit Thunder Turf.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri

 

 

 

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