Plains bristlegrass is a native, warm season perennial bunchgrass growing 3-5’ tall with light-green, tender leaves and dense seedheads. This native grass is found throughout the western two thirds of Texas, and it is an especially important species on rangelands in South and West Texas. Plains bristlegrass provides good to excellent forage to both livestock and wildlife, and its seeds are relished by game birds, including quail, doves, and wild turkeys. Plains bristlegrass is a staple of range and wildlife habitat restoration seed mixes, and it also has utility in right-of-way plantings, wildlife food plots, and for erosion control.
Several seed varieties of plains bristlegrass are available for use in Texas, including the 4 components of the Catarina Blend Bristlegrass. Various components of the blend are well adapted to most soil types from sandy soils to saline clay soils. Plains bristlegrass seed has a high degree of dormancy, which can make it unpredictable to establish in some instances. As a result, it is best used as part of a mixture of native grasses.
Planting: Plant in the fall or late winter-early spring at a rate of 3 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre at a maximum depth of 1/2 inch.
Soil: Sandy to medium textured soils.
Height: Up to 3 feet
Type: Warm Season Perennial
Region: Rio Grande Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Coastal Sand Plains, Edwards Plateau, Trans Pecos
For more information: Plains Bristlegrass Plant Guide by USDA NRCS