University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Horticultural Science

HORT-IMG-Mary Meyer ProfileMary Meyer

Ornamental Grasses
Department of Horticultural Science


Research Interests

Dr. Meyer joined the Horticultural Science faculty in 1993 and has primarily an Extension/outreach and research appointment. Her research interests include native and ornamental grasses and sedges, especially Miscanthus, Schizachyrium, Pennisetum and Carex pensylvanica. She has studied propagation and production of grasses including cold hardiness, and low maintenance sustainable landscaping. Blue Heaven is a patented little bluestem,(Schizachyrium), she released in 2007. She also conducts research on alternative low maintenance turfgrasses. She has studied Miscanthus and where it has escaped in the United States especially in National Parks and authored the website entitled Miscanthus: Ornamental and Invasive Grass. She is the author of Ornamental Grasses for Cold Climates which can be purchased from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Dr. Meyer is responsible for the development and coordination of statewide multi-media educational programs in environmental and consumer horticulture, including sustainable home landscapes. Her main office is at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where one of the largest ornamental grass collections is on display for the public. Sarah Elliot, a former Water Resources graduate student working with Dr. Meyer, measured the effect of the Arboretum’s rain garden and has published information on the rain garden and run off model at the Arboretum. From 1993-2007, Dr. Meyer was the State Coordinator for the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program. For two years, 2008-2010, Dr. Meyer was the Interim Director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. She coordinates the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum summer internship class, Hort 4096, and teaches international classes including Hort 3000, Global Seminar on English Garden History.

Follow this link to view projects completed by Meyer's Master's of Agriculture graduate students.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Miller, D. R., R. J. Mugaas, M. H. Meyer, and E. Watkins. 2013. Performance of Low-maintenance Turfgrass Mixtures and Blends. HortTechnology23:610-612.

Meyer, M. H. and D. Michener. 2013. Academic, Internship, and Cooperative Extension Programs at Botanic Gardens. HortTechnology23:635-641.

Meyer, M. H. 2013. Ornamental Grass Trials. Acta Horticulturae. (ISHS) 980:59-65.

Meyer, M. H., C. Haynes, D. Ellsworth, S. Ellis Williams, C. Welty, K. Jeannette. 2012. An Online Plant Diagnostics Module for Extension Master Gardeners. HortTechnology 22:589-591.

Meyer, M. H. 2011. Ornamental Grasses in the United States. Horticultural Reviews. Volume 39. Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY. p: 121-152.

Meyer, M.H. and J. Hong. 2011. Miscanthus ×giganteus Can be Propagated from Stem Cuttings. J. Environ. Hort. 29:193–196.

Elliott, S., M.H. Meyer, G. R. Sands, and B. Horgan.  2011. Water Quality Characteristics of Three Rain Gardens Located Within the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota. Cities and the Environment . Vol. 4 Issue 4. p.1-15.

Foord, K., D. Zlesak, T. Bartholomay, M. Meyer. 2011. Effectiveness and Audience Analysis of University of Minnesota Extension's Electronic Yard and Garden Newsletter. HortTechnology 21:252-259.

McGinnis, E. and M. Meyer. 2011. After-ripening, Stratification, and Perigynia Removal Enhance Pennsylvania Sedge Germination. HortTechnology 21: 187-192.

Cavanaugh, M., E. Watkins, B. Horgan, and M. Meyer. 2011. Conversion of Kentucky bluegrass rough to no-mow, low-input grasses. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science. doi:10.1094/ATS-2011-0926-02-RS

Meyer, M., J. Paul, N. Anderson. 2010. Competitive ability of invasive Miscanthus biotypes with aggressive switchgrass. Biological Invasions. 10.1007/s10530-010-9773-0.

Meyer, M.,R. Burrows, K. Jeannette, C.Welty, A.R. Boyson. 2010. Master Gardener’s Confidence and Use of Integrated Pest Management. HortTechnology 20: 812-816. 

McGinnis, E. E., M. H. Meyer, and A. G. Smith. 2010. Sweet and Sour: A Scientific and Legal Look at Herbicide-Tolerant Sugar Beet. Plant Cell. Published online June 25, 2010; 10.1104/tpc.110.077198.

Meyer, M. H., S. Hokanson, S. Galatowitsch, J. Luby. 2010. Public Gardens: Fulfilling the University's Research Mission. HortTechnology 20:522-527.

Meyer, M. H., J. Paul, N. Anderson. 2010. Competitive ability of invasive Miscanthus biotypes with aggressive switchgrass. Biological Invasions. 10.1007/s10530-010-9773-0.

Meyer, M. H. and K. Foord. 2008. Consumer Preferences and Perceptions of Gardening Information. HortTechnology 18:162-167.

Meyer, M. H. 2007. The Master Gardener program 1992-2005. Horticultural Reviews. Volume 33. Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY. p: 393-420. 

Peters, W. L., M. H. Meyer, and N. O. Anderson. 2006. Minnesota horticultural industry survey on invasive plants.  Euphytica. 148:75-86.

Larson, J.M. and M.H. Meyer. 2006.   Generations Gardening Together: Sourcebook for Intergenerational Therapeutic Horticulture. Haworth Press, Inc.

Jutila, S.G. and M.H. Meyer. 2005.  Sam's Delemma: A Decision Case for Training Horticultural Volunteers.  Hort Technology.  15:682-685.

Jutila, S., M.H. Meyer, and E. Hoover.  2005.  Focus groups and staff surveys: Tools to Assess the Future Direction of Volunteer Involvement.  HortTechnology. 15:880-885.

Meyer, M. H. 2004. Why Master Gardeners Stop Volunteering: Lack of Time. HortTechnology 14(3): 437-438.

Meyer, M. H. and B. Cunliffe. 2004. Effects of media porosity and container size on over-wintering and growth of ornamental grasses. HortScience 39(2):248-250.

Meyer, M. H. and B. R. Jarvis. 2003. Electronic "Ask a Master Gardener" Answers Gardening Questions.  Journal of Extension 41: 2003.

Meyer, M. H. and V. A. Gaynor. 2002. Effect of Seeding Date on Establishment of Native Grasses. Native Plants Journal Vol. 3(2):132-138.  University of Idaho Press.

Cunliffe, B. and M. H. Meyer. 2002. Propagation Time Affects Winter Survival and Finishing Date for Ornamental Grasses. Journal of Environmental Horticulture Vol. 20(4):201-203.

Jeannette, K. and M. H. Meyer. 2002. Online Learning Equals Classroom Teaching for Master Gardener Training. in press HortTechnology.

Gaynor, V. and M. H. Meyer. 2002. Effect of Seeding Date on Establishment of Native Grasses. accepted for publication Native Plants Journal, University of Idaho.

Meyer, M. B. Behe and J. Heilig. 2001. The Environmental and Economic Impact of Home Lawns in Minnesota. HortTechnology 11: 585-590.

Meyer, M. and N. Hegland, P. Fairbourne. 2001. Junior Master Gardener Programs in Minnesota. HortTechnology 11: 665-667.

Meyer, M. H. and W. Banks . 2001. Listserve Is Rated Equal to Fact Sheets in Educational Value. HortTechnology 11: 319-322.

Cunliffe, B., M. Meyer and P. Ascher. 2001. Propagation of Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' from Cuttings. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 19:1-3.

Meyer, M.H. and V. Gaynor . 2000. A Field Guide and Key to Fifteen Grass Seedlings. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education. 29:141-147.

Meyer, Mary Hockenberry and Courtney Tchida. 1999. Miscanthus Anderss. Produces Viable Seed in Four USDA Hardiness Zones. J.Environ.Hort.17(3)137-140.

Meyer, M. H. and B. Pedersen. 1999. Low Maintenance Alternative Turfgrass Trials. Journal of Turfgrass Management. Vol 3(2) 49-57.

Meyer, M.H. 1999. Native Americans' Interest in Horticulture. Journal of Extension. Vol.37(1).

Carpenter, P. J. and Meyer, M. H. 1999. Edina Goes Green Part I: A Model for Low-Input Lawn Care Community Education. HortTechnology. Vol. 9(3): 486-489.

Meyer, M. Hockenberry, D.B. White, and H. Pellett. 1998. Ornamental Grasses for Cold Climates. North Central Regional Publication No. 573. Minnesota Experiment Station and Minnesota Extension Service.

Meyer, Mary Hockenberry and Anne M. Hanchek. 1997. Master Gardener Training Costs and Payback in Volunteer Hours. HortTechnology. 4:368-370.

Meyer, M. Hockenberry. 1996. Turfgrass Trials Test Low Maintenance Options. Arboretum News. 15:3

Meyer, M. Hockenberry and D.B. White. 1993. Inheritance of Growth Habit in Fountain Grass. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 7. R.N. Carrow, N.E. Christians, R.C. Sherman, eds., Intertec Pub. Corp. Overland Park, Kansas.


424 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 952.443.1447
Websites: Miscanthus: Invasive and Ornamental Grass, Grass Talk Blog, Blue Heaven, Twitter page

*Read about some of Mary's experiences while on sabbatical for the 2010-11 academic year: New Zealand Blog