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
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

Baby Butts in Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - Do photo sessions in the Bluebonnet patch cause harm to the plants?
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
March 31, 2011 - We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Gay Feather
September 22, 2005 - Can I transplant the flower Gay Feather any time or should I wait until the plant dies this winter?
view the full question and answer

Thinning and culling wildflower seed mix plants
May 11, 2015 - Wildflower garden in central Oklahoma I sowed a (mostly) native wildflower mixture in early November here in my Zone 7A Edmond, OK garden. To my surprise, many of the seeds (I'm guessing annuals)...
view the full question and answer

Peak period for viewing Central Texas wildflowers
March 31, 2006 - My daughter lives in San Antonio now. I want to time my next visit with the peak period to blue bonnets and other TX wildflowers. When do you recommend that I visit and come to the Center for the fi...
view the full question and answer

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