Friday, June 17, 2016
Tall Grass Clumps By Lake - Weed or Not?
For some reason, today has been the day that this identification problem has suddenly felt critical. I e-mailed the local horticulture agent with the photos of the grass from April and May, but I haven't heard back from him. So I started to write this blog post, asking for help from the blogging community. Before I did that, however, I decided that I needed current photos.
So I went down by the lake and took them.
Upon looking at the pictures of the seed heads closely, my mind suddenly told me, "Paspalum." It didn't tell me which Paspalum, though, so I went to the USDA Plant Profile Database and looked up the genus, checking the ranges given and photographs, if any.
I am sad to report that Greg was probably correct.
I am now pretty certain that this grass is Vasey Grass, Paspalum urvillei. It is a native of South America and is considered invasive in Hawaii. It is fairly widespread across the southern U.S. (not including Arizona and New Mexico) and is becoming a problem pasture weed in the Florida panhandle.
A weed is a plant that's out of place - and Vasey Grass is out of place in my yard.
So I've got some hot, sweaty work that needs to be done: cutting off and bagging all the seedheads before the seeds drop, then rooting out the plants and freeing the soil for other, more desireable species.
On the plus side, though, I really like how the tall clump grass looks along the water's edge. Now, what more desireable species can I plant there?