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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

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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Thursday - October 11, 2012

From: Kingsland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants has a couple of ways to assemble that list.

The first is the direct way. If you go to the “Mr Smarty Plants” link under EXPLORE PLANTS, you will see that you can search Smarty Plants for keywords.  Inserting “groundcover” gets you way too many responses [256].  All of these give you lists and recommendations for groundcovers.  Here are some pretty good answers for places close to Kingsland:

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
Groundcover for Austin yard
Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
Grass for shady area

  These are all lists that Mr Smarty Plants put together for specific situations in nearby cities. 

  Another approach is to make your own list.  Under “RECOMMENDED SPECIES” – there are lists for both Central Texas and the Edwards Plateau.  If you choose “Grass/Grass-like” under General Appearance for the Edwards Plateau collection, 48 different natives will be selected.  Groundcovers are a bit harder to sort out, but if you choose Herbs and 0-1 feet tall, there will results a list of 49 low plants, most of which will make a good groundcover.  

Here are some pictures from excellent choices from those listings.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Curly-mesquite
Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Bioswale in Orange CA
September 08, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for plants for a bio-swale in Southern California. Do you have any suggestions for plants that do well in water but can also can handle long dry summers?
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Need grasses to stabilize a moderately steep slope in Pennsylvania
May 17, 2010 - Hello. We have a moderately steep slope in a shady area that is in need of some help. The grass that is in place there seems to be thriving - nice and green, with good growth. However, kids running...
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Problem with weeds in the buffalograss
June 11, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm about to throw in the towel! My back 'lawn' of buffalo grass (609) is almost all 'weeds'! Native ruellia and lyre leaf sage have taken over and as the area has gott...
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Controlling weeds in Habiturf lawn
May 16, 2015 - What's the best way to get rid of weeds in a Habiturf lawn? Habiturf seems like a great idea, but even with no extra water and no fertilizer, it seems the weeds take over - K.R. Bluestem and various...
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Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
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