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

Tuesday - September 14, 2010

From: Silsbee, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Can bluebonnets grow in a field of Bahia grass in Silsbee, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My question is if you have a field of Bahia grass, can bluebonnets grow there or will the grass choke them out?

ANSWER:

We all know that the Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is the state flower of Texas, but many people don't know that it shares that distinction with four other species of bluebonnets (see this link for the rest of the story). Looking at the USDA distribution maps indicates that one of the species, Lupinus texensis, occurs in Tyler County, and another one , Lupinus subcarnosus, occurs in Jasper County, but neither species nor any of the other three are shown to occur in Hardin County. But since you asked the question, I'm assuming that there are bluebonnets in your area, so we'll proceed.

Bahia grass, Paspalum notatum, is native to Mexico and South America and has been introduced into the United States as a forage grass and a turf grass. It is a warm season grass which should make it compatible with growing bluebonnets. The warm season grasses grow from late spring through the summer and become dormant over winter.

Bluebonnets should be planted in October and November. They will germinate and overwinter in the rosette stage.  Early spring brings on a growth spurt, and they flower in March through mid- May. So by the time the Bahia grass is going strong, the Bluebonnets have done their thing. This link tells you most everything you need to know about growing Bluebonnets.

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Hardiness of Mexican bush sage in USDA Zone 7
September 25, 2006 - I have a Mexican Sage (salvia). I need to know the care of it especially because it is a gift and the plant is about 5 ft. With the weather and the red clay I don't know if I could plant it or just ...
view the full question and answer

Parasitic paintbrush
March 29, 2009 - Many years ago I tried to grow some paintbrush seedlings with some seeds you sent me and found it difficult. Based on pictures in the literature I noticed that paintbrushes do not seem to affect their...
view the full question and answer

Winter preparation for wildflowers
October 22, 2009 - My first attempt at my wild flower garden is successful. I planted a box of perennial seeds, so I don't know what type of plants I actually have. My concern is what to do once the temperature drop...
view the full question and answer

Healthy native plants supporting local economy from Tacoma Park MD
February 17, 2012 - I am collecting information on how healthy native plant communities can support the local economy. Do you think the Texas bluebonnets are a good example of this in Texas? For example, do you know ma...
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center