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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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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!

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Tuesday - June 11, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Pests, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: What's invading my bermuda grass?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is identify it by the description. It is in Bermuda grass and the only way to describe the weed is to say it looks like big patches of St Augustine. It grows in large clumps and has fairly shallow roots.It appears worst after a big rain. I've actually spent hours removing it only to have it return in double amounts. Any ideas?? It appears to have taken over at least a quarter of my lawn. Thank you,

ANSWER:

It seems ironic that Bermuda grass (Cyanodon dactylon), introduced into the US from Africa and considered an invasive species , is being overgrown by another invasive species.

Its hard to identify a plant from a written description, but  a couple of possibilities for your invader come to mind; Crabgrass and Dallisgrass.

This link for Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) has a description, and photos of the plant. Compare these with what’s in your yard. It also has methods for elimination.

This link for Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilitatum) also has a description and plant photos.  Compare them with your weeds.

 Another source of help is to contact the folks at the Hays County office of Texas AgriLife Extension.

 

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