Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

From: Chapel Hill, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native wildflower habitat for North Carolina
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am from North Carolina and have been gradually establishing a wildflower spring garden. I now have a beautiful display of bluets and cornflowers that grace my front yard in the spring. Most of this area has been allowed to be covered with a lush green moss where the bluets seem to find a wonderful home. The cornflowers are more discrete. After the bluets and cornflowers leave us we have a profusion of rattlesnake weed, whose beautiful leaves many times turn a deep purple. Around our mailbox we have an old (thick trunk) trumpet honeysuckle. All of these are volunteers. Also I have propagated - with some success - a nice, soft, hairy-leaf plant that puts out a blue blossom every day from late spring until fall. They are very hardy to drought. Also a type of clover has appeared, they do not bloom but their green leaves are luscious. In the back we have asters and violets, plus ajuga, which is also a volunteer. At present I would like to propagate wild grasses to supplant my lawn (that is full of crabgrass and bermuda). Any good suggestions for this area.

ANSWER:

It sounds like you are well on your way to establishing a nice wildflower habitat at your home. Good resources for you will be the Native Lawns and Wildflower Meadow Gardening articles in the NPIN Clearinghouse.

For a list of grasses suitable for use in your landscape and how they can be used, please see this excellent article from the South Carolina Native Plant Society website.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native prairie grasses for East Texas
September 19, 2013 - What are the best grasses for native east texas prairie grass reestablishment, I have a small acreage I would like to turn into native grass land.
view the full question and answer

Retention of soil on bank in Pittsburgh, PA
June 15, 2008 - I have a steep bank in front of our house in Pittsburgh. We no longer want to mow this bank and wish to plant something that will spread and hold the soil. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Can Habiturf™ be hydromulched?
July 28, 2014 - Our lawn was originally planted with "Weeping Love Grass" seed by hydromulching. After 7 years we still have some bare spots. Other types of grass have infiltrated the lawn and that does not matter...
view the full question and answer

What is a lawn broom from Cibolo TX
February 15, 2013 - Concerning gulf muhly grass you mention using a lawn broom to get rid of the dead stalks. What is a lawn broom? What does it look like? Where can I purchase one?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX
May 25, 2013 - I am trying to replace some maiden grasses that died during the drought. I want an evergreen grass or something soft looking to replace them. I want something that is native and 5 to 6 feet tall to ...
view the full question and answer

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