Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Thursday - March 05, 2009

From: Wichita, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Curvularia blight in buffalograss in Kansas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our buffalo grass is infected with a fungus called curvularia. How can we treat it?

ANSWER:

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) is a warm season grass native to the American prairie, including Kansas. Curvularia mold or curvularia blight is found in turfgrasses, and infection usually enters the plant through cut tips of grass blades. It is found in grasses that have been subjected to very warm soil and drought. However, it also can be a result of overwatering. This University of California Integrated Pest Management Curvularia Blight in Turfgrass does not mention buffalograss, but does list several non-native turf grasses that have been infected with curvularia.  That website also lists some fungicide treatments which can only be applied by personnel licensed and trained to do so. 

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends neither for nor against the use of pesticides, but if you do wish to treat the problem chemically, we urge you to seek expert help in doing so. It would appear, from the information we could find, that careful irrigation practices, in which neither over- nor under-watering occurs, will help prevent the spread of infection. We suggest you contact the Kansas State University Extension office for Sedgewick County. Contact information is on their Home Page and also on their Lawn and Garden page. It's likely that yours is not an isolated incident, and the Extension office should have information and help.

Pictures of curvularia-infected grasses. 


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides
 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Grasses for dry bottom detention ponds
December 15, 2007 - I am working on a project for my HOA in order to reduce mowing costs and to beautify our neighborhood. We were wondering if you could help us find people knowledgeable about dry bottom detention pond...
view the full question and answer

Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
May 04, 2015 - It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?
view the full question and answer

Native Indiangrass as a hedge
December 13, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a grass hedge as a foundation planting for a portion of our garden. One side of the planting is a concrete sidewalk to our garden shed, the other side wil...
view the full question and answer

Low cost landscaping in Federicksburg VA
February 22, 2009 - Hello, I live in Fredericksburg Va and I rent a townhome with a small yard. My back yard is almost completely mud and my front yard has a hideous square shrub. So my question is do you have any plant ...
view the full question and answer

Retention ponds for states in southeast, from Greenville SC
July 14, 2012 - We provide maintenance for Stormwater detention ponds and are looking for native grasses to plant in the bottom and sides of typically dry detention basins. Prefer low growing grasses that spread to...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.