En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

From: Beeville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem and Coastal bermuda for horses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is blue stem grass mixed with coastal good for horses?

ANSWER:

We hope we intepreted your question correctly; that you were, indeed, referring to King Ranch bluestem grass and Coastal Bermuda grass as being good for horses. For starts, we're into horticulture, not agriculture, and really don't know much about feed for animals, except maybe how to keep deer out of the garden. This AgriLIFE Extension-Texas A&M website gives you contact information for your Extension agent, and you can get better information from that source.

However, we do want to deal with the two grasses you have mentioned. Both Bothriochloa ischaemum (King Ranch bluestem) and Cynodon dactylon (Coastal Bermuda) are non-native and have become invasive in many cases. KR bluestem originated in Mediteranean Europe and South Africa, while Bermuda grass is native to North Africa, Asia and Australia. If you already have these grasses available to you, then you should depend on the Extension agent's information for their use as horse forage.

If you're planning to plant grasses for horses, you might consider native grasses. Native grasses are good for horse forage and are usually managed without fertilization. Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), and Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) are all native grasses that should do well in your area. You might be interested in reading this website Are you feeding your horse like a cow?

 

From the Image Gallery


Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

More Non-Natives Questions

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Slow growing, non-native Viburnum sandanqua in Deland FL
April 05, 2010 - Hi. I live in central FL, and planted sandankwa viburnum as a hedge 3 years ago. I was told they would grow quickly, but they are growing very slowly, although they look healthy with deep green leaves...
view the full question and answer

Scale on non-native Loropetalum in Lincoln, NE
February 26, 2010 - Hi,I have found lots of scale insects on my Loropetalum (esp the young leaves) and ended up spraying some white oil to get rid of them. Unfortunately, I might have overdone it and the young shoots are...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa failing to bloom in Leitchfield KY
October 29, 2011 - I have a medium size mimosa tree here in KY that usually blooms beautifully; it did not bloom at all this year. It leafed out well, needs a few dead limbs pruned, but seems otherwise healthy. Please t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center