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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.

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

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Thursday - July 15, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Are non-seeding Bermudgrass hybrids invasive?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Since Cynodon dactylon (Bermudagrass) is listed as an invasive species (texasinvasives.org), do you feel the non-seed producing Bermudagrass hybrids would also be considered invasive? Assuming a hybrid Bermudagrass does not produce a seed, then seeds would not be carried via stormwater or wind into unwanted areas of the eco-system. Or, should ALL Bermudagrass varieties be considered invasive and be avoided.

ANSWER:

We should first state that Bermudagrass is often considered invasive in Texas and other southern parts of the US, but not everywhere.

While hybrid strains of Bermudagrass may produce no or few seeds, it can spread very easily vegetatively.  Vegetative spread of invasive species is common.  Many of Texas' aquatic weeds such as Giant Salvinia, Hydrilla and Water Hyacinth as well as terrestrial species like Giant Cane and Golden Bamboo are spread mostly, or in some cases, exclusively by vegetative means.

We recommend that folks avoid cultivating any plant species within its invasive range.

 

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