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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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Wednesday - September 03, 2008

From: Port Aransas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Comparisons of King Ranch Bluestem and Kleberg Bluestem grasses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Regarding your answer to a question from Wimberly Tx on November 17 2007 about KR Bluestem: Many people confuse King Ranch Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) with Kleberg Bluestem (Dichanthium annulatum). Do you know of any significant differences in the detrimental characteristics or control practices between species?

ANSWER:

Comparing these two grasses is like comparing two rats, and asking which you want for a pet? They are both invasive, both compete aggressively once established, often suppressing other species, and are a relatively low quality grass for forage. And they are both non-native. The Kleberg bluestem is native to Africa, Asia and Papua New Guinea. In the previous answer of November 21, 2007, you will see that KR bluestem is native to Europe and Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America and to the area in which they occur naturally, where they will require less water, fertilization and maintenance. As is KR bluestem, Kleberg bluestem is also on the TexasInvasives.org list. Regardless of their comparative invasiveness, we discourage the use or planting of either. Once in an area, they are both very difficult to eradicate. 

 

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