Question: I have a large black walnut tree in my front yard. I was wondering if you could tell me what grasses would be able to tolerate the affects of juglone. I live on the south end of Blaine and have the typical sandy soil of the sand plain. The yard has both sun and shade.
Answer: As far as I know and have experienced, all the grasses are ok with juglone, the chemical from black walnut trees. Many monocots and the whole grass family seem to be immune to juglone, so I think you can try most any grass. A black walnut tree does not have much shade, that is a plus as well. Now you just have to deal with the tree root competition and dry site!! So I would try the drought tolerant grasses, such as blue grama, sideoats grama, little bluestem or prairie dropseed.
Red fall color on Blue HeavenTM little bluestem with prairie dropseed in the foreground.
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Mt Washington’ has amazing fall color this year.
The flowers on miscanthus at the 2015 Grass Collection Open House stole the show and
got the most flags for favorites from the public.
New information about the chemicals (coumarin and phytol) in sweet grass, Hierochloa odorata, confirm that they may repel mosquitoes. Native Americans knew this all along and have used sweet grass for many ceremonies. Sweetgrass is a native plant in Minnesota; flowers come in early spring and the shiny foliage is not really ornamental, but that doesn’t matter, when the fragrance and other chemicals in the foliage are what is important. Photos from the Minesota Landscape Arboretum’s Grass Collection.
Join us for the Open House at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Grass Collection on Tuesday, September 29 from 2:00-6:00 PM. You will be able to see the new plantings from this year, pick your favorite grass, and ask questions about the grasses. 2015 is the third and final year of the formal 3-year evaluations of 17 switchgrass and 5 little bluestem cultivars.