En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

Problems with non-native St. Augustine lawn from Austin
October 06, 2013 - We have St. Augustine in our front lawn. There are some patches where the grass has entirely died but mixed in with the dead areas are little clumps of living grass. It seems to be spreading througho...
view the full question and answer

Possible to grow Inland Sea Oats in Oklahoma?
March 17, 2011 - Would it be possible to grow inland sea oats in Southeast Oklahoma? Is this within the range of this plant? I am asking on behalf of my cousin in OK.
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to provide nitrogen for compost in Houston
March 27, 2010 - I leave my clippings on the lawn so I don't have enough 'green' for my compost. I'd like to plant an unobtrusive area with some native that I can mow on a monthly basis. The area is in partial...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower meadow for birds
September 19, 2008 - I put in a wildflower feed plot for the song birds 3 years ago. We prepared the bed by first using Round Up to kill all the grass then lightly tilled to scratch the surface and planted the wildflower ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center