Is The Grass On Your Austin Lawn Native?

Recently, we put together an article on what types of grass there are in Austin and how to identify them. This week, we thought it would be helpful to throw together a quick guide on whether or not your grass type is native to Texas. Let’s get to it!


  • St Augustine?  No. According to Texas A&M, “the species is primarily of tropical origin and is native to sandy beach ridges, fringes of swamps and lagoons, salty and fresh water marshes and limestone shorelines.”  Even so, St. Augustine is a popular choice for Texas cities, from Dallas to Houston, due to it’s thick nature and ability to grow in sandy soil.
  • Zoysiagrass? No. According to Texas A&M, “Zoysiagrasses are warm season grasses native to China, Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia.”
  • Buffalograss? Yes. According to Texas A&M, it is a “perennial grass native to the Great Plains from Montana to Mexico. In Texas, it is commonly found from South Texas to the Texas Panhandle; but is rarely found on the sandy soils in the eastern part of the state or in the high rainfall areas of southeast Texas.”
  • Ryegrass? No. Ryegrass is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but it’s commonly cultivated and used elsewhere.

Why so many non-native grass types?

In fact, there are about 6,000 species of vascular plants growing outside of cultivation in Texas, and about 15% of these are non-native to the state. Though many homeowners believe that bermudagrass or St. Augustines will provide a lush and vibrant green turf, native mixes are often more effective in doing so. One big reason for this is that non-native species are more prone to pests and diseases. Here’s a chart that shows the differing ratios from native and non-native grasses:


If you’re interested in learning more about how to implement a native grass lawn, check this article out. Or, if you’re in Austin, Round Rock, or Pflugerville, give us a call and we’ll come up with a custom tailored solution for you!



Alex Birkett

Alex Birkett is marketer and writer. Aside from mowing lawns, he loves snowboarding, eating sushi, and lifting heavy weights. He moved to Austin, TX after graduating from the University of Wisconsin.