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Plant Identification: Anyone hear of grass called Tom Bell?

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 7, Views: 44
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Lincolnton, NC

August 3, 2011
4:34 PM

Post #8735137

While I was growing up in Piedmont NC, farmers cursed the bane of Tom Bell grass. I never knew what it really was until I read this article:

It appears from the article that the grass is Bermuda Grass. Has anyone else outside the area heard of this grass?
SF Bay Area, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 3, 2011
4:43 PM

Post #8735154

Oh, YEA! We have Bermuda grass here too, along with another bane to my existence, St. Augustine/Buffalo grass. Whoever brought Bermuda grass into the U.S. ought to be shot! Maybe we got them back by sending them St. Augustine grass. As far as I'm concerned, both are nothing more than noxious invasive weeds which are almost impossible to eradicate.
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 3, 2011
5:46 PM

Post #8735303

I am unfortunately quite familiar with Bermuda grass too. Never heard it called Tom Bell grass though, that name for it must be a local thing.
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 3, 2011
7:41 PM

Post #8735575

I don't know why you would say St. Augustine/.Buffalo. Two grasses on oppisite ends of the spectrum. Fyi Bermuda (thin blade for sun) and St.Augustine (wide blade for shade) are 99% the only grasses used here in Texas for lawns. Municipalities have started using Buffalo in their parks and medians to help with water conservation, It is usually a yellow color of brown. not very attractive, but it won't die out during drought. I have never heard of Tom Bell, and I think Bermuda would freeze out in a winter up North and not come back.
SF Bay Area, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 3, 2011
8:07 PM

Post #8735630

I got that from here, but it's known for making mistakes:
Lincolnton, NC

August 13, 2011
4:31 PM

Post #8754406

The local folklore in Pickens County SC is that a man named Tom Bell brought in the Bermuda grass in from Kentucky for his front yard and it took off into the wild. It loved the SC Piedmont area, spreading to field far and wide. If you've had Bermuda grass where it wasn't wanted, You know that it is difficult to get rid of. In the cotton and corn fields of that area, many hours of hoeing were spent trying to rid the field of the "Tom Bell" grass. I can still hear my grandfather with not so subtle curses of Tom Bell as he tried to rid his field of the grass. It is definitely a local tradition and name!

San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2011
10:20 PM

Post #8760653

I have effectively killed bermuda grass with the product Grass Be Gone.


Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 17, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8761154

Fyi...Buffalograss is Bouteloua dactyloides and St Augustine is Stenotaphrum secundatum...perhaps the confusion comes from them both being wideblade grasses...or just from Wikipedia (I have been hornswoggled by Wiki links before too)

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