Wiregrass: Good Grass vs. Bad Grass

By: ofieldstream , 12:44 PM GMT on August 17, 2007

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There certainly are a lot of folks think they know what WIREGRASS is. And you know what? Many of them do, but they're not all talking about the same thing. This is what makes this an interesting topic.

Do you know what WIREGRASS is? Again - maybe you do, but it's either not correct or not the whole story. The answers to these types of confusing topics do not come on the first attempt to find them. Sometimes the best discoveries happen by... accident, a proverbial 'chance' encounter: by serendipity.

Commenting on my last post, FlCrakerGirl correctly placed wiregrass into the taxonomic niche, Aristida stricta. A plant, also known as threeawn, for which an entire area of the southeastern United States is known as, The Wiregrass.

Wiregrass or threeawn is a common grass found in and among the pine and sandhills of the region. Food for quail and the gopher tortise and cover for many of the animal life, wiregrass also serves as fodder for cattle, too.

The Wiregrass region stretches...
The Wiregrass Region

...approximately from just below Macon, Georgia and follows the Fall Line west to Montgomery, Alabama. From there it turns south and runs to approximately Washington County, Florida in the northern panhandle. From there it runs east, roughly making its southern boundary along Interstate 10 to Lake City, Florida. From there it turns north, roughly following the Suwanee River back into Georgia and along the western fringes of the Okefenokee Swamp. From here it runs due north back to Macon. Interstate 75, Interstate 10, and portions of Interstate 65 traverse parts of the Wiregrass. (Wikipedia: The Wiregrass)

This area is so named for this unique grass-like plant that is as well, unique to this southern region of the United States.

But, this is not the rest of the story, it's only a chapter.

Bermudagrass There is another plant refered to as - 'wiregrass Science identifies it by the taxonomic filename, Cynodon dactylon. This plant is at the center of a love/hate relationship between it and many humans.

There are those who hate this plant. They expend great time, energy and considerable financial resources to rid their premises, and lives, of it.

Yet, at the same time, there are others who nuture and even propogate it. They depend upon it to carpet their lawns and golf courses.

It is known by it's many colloquial names; Bahama Grass, Devil's Grass, Couch Grass, Indian Doab and even Wiregrass. Most of us know it as Bermudagrass.

Bermudgrass is an invasive species; not native to North America. In fact it's not even native to this hemisphere. This plant is a native of the savannahs of Africa.

Bermudagrass was introduced around the world as a 'miracle plant' for arrid, parched land. But it has proven to be more of a 'maniacal plant' as it overtakes native grasses through its three pronged propogation of: seeds, roots and tubers.

The very characteristics that make Bermudagrass so robust in dry climates, is what lands it into disfavor with those who live within its overtaking reach.

Now we have the 'full story' of Wiregrass; at least for now and until I serendipitously stumble upon more information.

les O'fieldstream

---- References -----
Wiregrass: plant (University of Florida)
Wiregrass: region (Wikipedia)
Bermudagrass: plant
[1] Purdue University, Horticulture Deptartment
[2] Wikipedia: Cynadon dactylon" (Bermudagrass)

Bermudagrass (problem)

les O'fieldstream

So .. think you know what a 'skeeter-hawk' is ... ?: ) We'll see.


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6. seflagamma
6:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2007

Thanks for stopping by my blog with your compliment and birthday wishes! All my WUBA friends have made this day wonderful!

take care,
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 305 Comments: 41020
5. sandiquiz
2:31 PM GMT on August 17, 2007
Wineglass? - of course I know what it is!! .... A glass, usually with a stem, from which wine is drunk...... hic, hic, mine appears to be empty... got any more ??

Actually. frivolity apart I found the header exceptionally informative. We call it couch grass, or twitch, but after some research I find it is a European strain called Elymus repens.

My granddad, who was a farmer/nurseryman called it quackgrass and used many a profanity when he found it growing in his prized flowerbeds!!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28489
2. ofieldstream
1:31 PM GMT on August 17, 2007
Like I said saddlegait ... you either love it or you hate it. There doesn't seem to be any ambivilence toward Bermudagrass. Well, that is - of course - among those who have had experience with it. ". )

I'm one of those 'odd-ducks' on the issue though. I've seen it from both sides. So my stand toward Bg is how I view all invasive species:

The invasive [fill the blank with your choice] may not be a problem yet, but it will be. If for no other reason than the damage done to the native(s) [plant or animal] it replaces ... eventually.

les O'fieldstream
Member Since: May 12, 2002 Posts: 161 Comments: 274

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About ofieldstream

I am O'fieldstream, some say 'les O'fieldstream'. Either way, I am Outdoors, Photography and Technology, Writing, Travel and Friends. Love WUville.

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