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

Native wildflower garden for Pennsylvania
May 21, 2008 - Hello, I am interested in making a garden, and I would like to use only or mostly native wildflowers in it. Do you have any good suggestions for wildflowers that I can transplant from places where the...
view the full question and answer

Strangling Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - I have some Bluebonnets that are being strangled by some strange rope-like plant. What’s going on here?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and wildflowers for Nashville TN
March 10, 2009 - I have several packets individually of both bluebonnets and of wildflowers, and want to plant them on 2 hills that we have around our home. We live near Nashville, and aren't even sure if the bluebo...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Castilleja latifolia in Fort Bragg CA
October 08, 2009 - What is the propagation method for Castilleja latifolia ssp. mendocinensis? Do I need to grow Castilleja latifolia ssp. mendocinensis seed with native associate plants in the propagation greenhouse be...
view the full question and answer

General Wildflower Reference
March 07, 2008 - Can you recommend a good general reference book on wildflowers that is not limited by being either regional or a field guide? (I already have Wildflowers Across America.) I am looking for a work whi...
view the full question and answer

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