Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 04, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seeds and Seeding, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?

ANSWER:

Follow this link, Muhlenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill), to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions. According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is native to Texas but not to Dallas County. According to both our webpage and other references this plant needs a moist soil, which  does not sound like drought resistant to us. Furthermore, in several of the references it was referred to as a weed and accused of invasiveness. If you decide you want to try it anyway, go to our National Suppliers Directory in the "Enter Search Location" box and click GO. You will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information, so you can find out if they carry what you need before you start out to shop.

Here is an article from Pennsylvania State University that refers to nimblewill as a weed. More and more, we are recommending other ways than lawn grass to deal with dry or shady areas. If you are interested, you might read some of these previous Mr. Smarty Plants answers:

Xeriscape in Austin

Native Groundcovers for Texas

 

From the Image Gallery


Nimblewill
Muhlenbergia schreberi

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

When does Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) go to seed in southern US?
August 06, 2014 - When does Bouteloua dactyloides go to seed in the southern United States, mainly Texas?
view the full question and answer

Timing for mowing wildflower meadow
August 29, 2013 - Last spring (2012) we planted a wildflower/shortgrass meadow on a caliche slope surrounding the back of our house. We terraced with rocks and spread some topsoil thinly before sowing the seed. It di...
view the full question and answer

Growing Sophora gypsophila from seed
April 23, 2008 - Sophora gypsophila B.L. Turner & Powell Do you have any information on growing this small tree from seed? I have a few seeds and would like to try. What conditions break seed dormancy? I have grown ...
view the full question and answer

When to harvest native grass seeds?
May 29, 2015 - We are trying to restore native grasses to a small pasture between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs. Last spring (2014), we seeded a mix of sideoats grama, little bluestem, dahl bluestem, and sprangleto...
view the full question and answer

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