Thursday, October 23, 2014

Glorious Glowing Grasses

In 2009, the Texas Legislature designated the third week in October as Texas Native Plant Week. Native plants benefit wildlife by providing food and shelter. When properly selected, they are an attractive, low impact choice for landscaping. Even the less attractive native plants have their place and purpose. Texas native plants make Texas Texas.

Of course, every week is Texas Native Plant Week at Plano Prairie Garden. I am a little short on time to write a dissertation about native plants right now, so here are some pictures of the glorious glowing grasses that are blooming in my garden now. The beauty of these Texas natives when backlit by the autumn sun speaks volumes.

West Texas native Pine Muhly, Muhlenbergia dubia.

A little closer look.

Statewide native, Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium.

Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem

 Little Bluestem

Another shot of Pine Muhly. This one grows in a pathway next to my vegetable garden. It is not in the best location, but it is too pretty to move.

Central Texas native, Seep Muhly, Muhlenbergia reverchonii.

Another native to most of the state is Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum. This variety is 'Dallas Blues'.

Big Muhly or Lindheimer Muhly, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri, is another central Texas Native.

This Indian Grass, Sorghastrum nutans, was dug from a patch in a field a couple of miles from my home.

10 comments:

  1. I love how the flower heads glow in the sunlight.

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    1. Me too Debra. This is the best time of year for viewing grasses.

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  2. Your blog is a terrific resource.

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  3. I need to use Pine Muhly - yours' plus some massed in a far west TX landscape I've driven by are reasons enough. When I finally used Little Buestem at a small commercial job, I saw what I was missing out on. Of course, your 1st 3 photos are my favorites...

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    1. I have a feeling pine muhly will be showing up more often. There is a mass planting along a nearby highway. My planting is getting too massed as seedlings sprout. I will be thinning mine out soon because I really like the look of this grass when it can be admired without other plants crowding in.

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  4. LOVE your grass pictures. I'll share with CTG fans per our latest show on grasses.

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  5. Stunning pictures! I recently visited Bamberger Ranch and fell in love with Little Bluestem. I need to find a source, because it needs to be in my garden! I really love your pine muhly, too. As much as I absolutely adore Lindheimer muhly, it's really too big for most of my garden, and this seems like a much better alternative. I am also running into the issue of having too much shade. Are there any showy native grasses you can recommend for part shade?

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    1. Lori, Pine Muhly does not get as tall as Lindheimer but it does get about four feet wide. The only grasses that I am aware of that grow in some shade are inland seaoats and Virginia (or Canadian) wild rye. I have tried growing wild rye from seed with no luck. I believe it is an annual. I had decent luck growing sideoats gram\a under my oak tree. It is not overly showy unless you are looking at the flowers up close.

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