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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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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.

 

 

 

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