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?


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


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


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

Wildflower garden with Castilleja indivisa (Indian paintbrush)
January 08, 2013 - I want to start a wildflower garden in my front/backyard. Specifically, I would like to include the indian paintbrush. What is the best way to go about this? Straight in the ground, containers, etc...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of replacing Bermudagrass with native grasses and wildflowers
November 24, 2008 - Are there any native grasses and wildflowers that can compete with bermuda grass to make a nativ-y wild area without removing the bermuda?
view the full question and answer

Yellow Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa
May 09, 2005 - Does entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, come in yellow in the wild? I have Indian paintbrush in the front pasture and noticed last weekend that there were 5 or 6 that were light yellow...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007 - I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer

Care of wildflower meadow dried out in drought
June 30, 2011 - Mr Smarty Plants, Our wildflower patch is completely dried up here in Lucas,Tx. What do you do with the field? Mow it? Trim it? Let it be? The patch is about 1/2 acre.. Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center