A survey instrument was designed to determine public perception of selected landscape (ornamental) grass species, the use of grasses in public landscapes, and the importance of research on the water consumption. Results from the survey indicate that 90% of the respondents felt that grasses have landscape (ornamental) value, and 96% felt that municipalities should utilize these plant materials in public landscapes. In addition, 92% of the respondents deemed research on the water conserving abilities of landscape grasses important and 96% would use them if they helped conserve water. When specific grass species were rated for preference by the respondents, statistical differences were noted between the two field sites, survey dates, and desirability of individual species. Grasses located at the site where plants were allowed a longer establishment period had significantly higher visual rankings. Summer visual ratings of grasses were significantly higher than fall ratings. Native Texas and introduced species were rated equally in desirability. Overall the most popular species was Purple Fountaingrass (Pennisetum macrostachyum) with 96% of survey participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would use it in their personal landscape. Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) was the least popular species with only a 46% positive rating.

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Author notes

2Assistant Research Scientist and Associate Professor, respectively.