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Seacoast Bluestem

Seacoast Bluestem

(Schizachyrium scoparium var. littorale)
Plant Type: 
Grasses
Seacoast bluestem is the dominant climax grass species over most of the upland grasslands of the South Texas Sand Sheet. It is also common on barrier islands along the Gulf Coast. Its range is restricted to sand or sandy loam textured soils. It provides good-to-excellent forage for livestock, and decreases in abundance following continuous grazing. Because of its bunchgrass growth form, it provides good nesting cover for ground nesting birds, such as bobwhite quail. It grows in large, dense, colonial stands by means of rhizomes. Two primary growing seasons of seacoast bluestem occur in early spring and late summer, however, green leaves are present throughout much of the year depending on moisture and temperature. Seedheads initiate growth from July through September depending on rainfall and reach maturity from October through December. Seed can be harvested from seacoast bluestem by use of a flail-vac, pull type seed stripper, or modified combine. Planting of seacoast bluestem should be done in late fall or early spring. When planted using a seed drill, seed should be mixed with some type of carrier to enable uniform planting and ease of flow through seed tubes and boxes, because awns and small hairs commonly cause blockages. Seeds can also be broadcasted on a prepared seedbed and covered with a roller or packer. Seacoast bluestem can also be restored using native hay. Handling of seacoast bluestem hay should be kept to a minimum to prevent excessive seed shatter.
Peaceful Forest
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