Yes, it is that time of year again. The King Ranch Bluestem, aka “KR Bluestem”, is sending up the tall telltale seed heads to let us know it is there. You see, it has been there all along. It is a perennial grass that was introduced from Europe and Asia in the 1920s and 1930s as a “desirable” species for erosion control and forage for cattle. (Another good idea gone awry.) As you can guess, it is no longer “desirable”.
KR Bluestem is now on the Texas Invasive Species list, and it has spread pretty much throughout the state. It didn’t help that TXDOT used it on roadsides as wildflower sustainment and roadside vegetation. Yep. On purpose.
KR Bluestem is quite drought tolerant. In other words, it is a survivor. I know that everyone wants an easy answer to eradicate this plant from their yards. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Ranchers have been battling this plant with herbicides, plowing under and burning off, to no avail. The plant returns. The most effective method has been to kill ALL the grass, then re-seed with the desirable one. Nevertheless, if the seeds are blown in again, you will be starting all over again. Sorry. No easy answers this time.