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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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Wednesday - January 30, 2013

From: Waco, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Pruning, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Trimming inland sea oats from Waco TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Re: Inland Sea Oats and trimming back in early spring "It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette." This site includes this information. Where exactly is the "basal rosette?"

ANSWER:

We could not find any pictures of the "rosette" of Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats). The first picture below is how they should look probably in April. The next picture is the tattered and gray condition mentioned in your quotation from our webpage on the plant condition in February. At that point, we would recommend going in and trimming back to about 6 inches above the soil. They will be brown spindly sticks but it will remind you where the plant is. They may already have some little grassy spikes sticking up at the point, coming up from the root, and will continue to grow until they look like the third picture below.

 

From the Image Gallery


Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

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