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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 Groundcovers Questions

Wisconsin Ground Cover for Acid Soil
July 09, 2012 - What type of native wisconsin ground cover plants do best on acidic bare areas under pine trees such as blue spruce?...and where is best source for these plants or seeds? Thanks so much for your help
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Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
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Horseherb for ground cover in Dallas
September 19, 2009 - When considering horseherb as a ground cover for a large area; are there disadvantages to sowing seed versus planting established plants? If not, what time of year is best to sow horseherb?
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Ground cover for East Texas
November 07, 2010 - I live in the country of east Texas and wish to grow native ground covers around my house and property. I have no way to control this growth, as I have no fences or borders. I have sandy soil and th...
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Ground cover for Massachusetts
March 21, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We are trying to kill poison ivy in shaded areas bordering our driveway and want to plant something quickly to replace it. There are many tall trees in this area, mainly pi...
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