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rbEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
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11^ GRASSES OF THE SOUTH.
ORT ON CERTAIN GRASSES AND FORAGE PLANTS FOR
CULTIVATION IN THE SOUTH
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UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMXISBIONEROF AGRICULTURE
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
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CONTE N TS.
Paspaluin dilatatmin, Pl. I ....................... .......................... 7
platycaule ...................................................... .
Panicumi maximum, Guinea Grass, Pl. II .................---..........--.......... 9
sanguinale, Crab Grass, Pl. III ......-.....----.............. ........... 11
Texan m n, Texas Millet, Pl. IV ..................................... 12
Euclena luxurians, Teosinte ............................................... 14
Sorghum halepense, Johnson Grass, P1. V .................................... 15
rulgare (var.) Millo Maize .................--........-------............... 18
Phalaris intermniedia, American Canary Grass, Pl. VI ......................... 20
Sporobolus Indicus, Smut Grass, Pl. VII..................................... -'21
Holcus lanatus, Velvet Grass, P1. VIII ...................................... -
Arrhenatherum arenacenm, Tall Oat Grass, P1. IX ............................ 4
Cynodon dactylon, Bermuda Grass, Pl. X .................................... 25
Poa arachnifera, Texas Blue Grass, PI. XI .................................. 31)30
Bromnus unioloides, Rescue Grass, P1. XII ...................-................. 32
OTHER FORAGE PLANTS ............-----.......................................... 34
Erodiunm cicutariuMt, Alfilaria, Pl. XIII ...................................... -:34
Medicago sativa, Alfalfa, PI. XIV ........................................... 36(i
denticulata, Bur Clover .......................................... 44
Desmniodium tortuosum, Beggar-tick ......................................... 46
Lespedeza striata, Japau Clover, PI.XV...................................... 47
Opuntia Englemanni, Prickly Pear .......................................... 51)
Richardsonia scabra, Mexican Clover, Pl. XVI ..............................
WASHING OF THE SOIL ---... ............................................---------------------------------------------------....... 55
NEEDS OF DIFFERENT LOCALITIES-............................................. 56
INDEX.......... ................ .. .......... ... ................... ............ ....61
IfaMbift-K-.:, .. .
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WASHINGTON, May 15, 1887.
Hon. NORMAN J. COLMAN,
Commissioner of Agriculture:
SIR: In order to obtain definite information respecting certain grasses
and forage plants, which have been chiefly cultivated in the South and
Southwest, the Commissioner recently issued a circular on the subject
which was widely distributed in those sections of the country. About
five hundred answers have been received to the circular, many of the
replies being full and exhaustive for the particular localities reported
on, and many others giving more or less special information. These
reports have been carefully collated by the Assistant Botanist, and a
summary of the result is herewith presented.
The grazing interests of the country are of the highest importance,
and information respecting new grasses which are adapted to cultiva-
tion in special localities is very much desired.
By its much milder climate, and the greatly lengthened season of veg-
etable activity, it would seem that grazing interests would be much
more extended in the South than in the North, but such is not the case.
This fact is attributable to several causes, among which is the general
complaint of the want of reliable grasses and forage plants adapted to
the climate. Sufficient importance has not been given to the growing
season of different kinds of grasses. Some kinds grow and thrive best
at a low temperature, and others require the fervid heat of summer to
start them into activity.
No grass can be obtained which will grow vigorously throughout the
entire year. Hence in the South the stock grower must provide a series
of pastures, some for winter and some for summer use. The great want
has been a reliable and productive winter grass.
Among those which thus far are found useful in this direction are the
Bromus unioloides, Phalaris intermedia, Holous lanatus, and Poa arach-
nifera. Each of these has some good qualities, but all are liable to some
objections. Perhaps that which gives greatest promise is the Texas
Blue grass, or Poa arachnifera. But this, since it was brought to notice,
has made very slow advancement, owing mainly to its poor seeding
quality. If the seed of this species was matured as abundantly as that
,of the Kentucky blue grass and could be furnished at as low a price,
the pastures of the South could soon be well stocked with it. But
earnestness of purpose and energetic effort will accomplish the object
in spite cf the disadvantages existing.
The same fact exists as to the Bermuda grass. It rarely matures
any seed in this country, being propagated almost wholly by division
of the plants and stolons; yet it is the most widely diffused of any grass
in the South, and is everywhere regarded as the best grass for pastures,
furnishing good feed throughout the summer and fall. If this were
supplemented by winter pastures of Texas blue grass, or some other
suitable kind, it would seem that permanent green feed for stock would
be insured throughout the entire year.
From the reports here presented it would seem that there should be
little difficulty, in the Southern States and in Texas, in making a selec-
tion of grasses that would give a constant succession for pastures
throughout the year. In Florida the problem is perhaps not yet well
solved, but even there continued investigations and experiments will
doubtless be successful. To that State, and to the immediate Gulf
coast, must probably be restricted some of the more tropical grasses
and forage plants, as the Guinea grass (Panicum maximum), Para grass
(Panicum barbinode), Beggar-tick (Desmodium), Mexican clover (Rich-
ardsonia scabra), and Teosinte (Euchlcena luxurians).
As to annual grasses for hay and forage, there is no lack of product-
ive and nutritious kinds. Under the most favorable circumstances
which can be attained it will be a matter of prudence and good man-
agement to provide a stock of forage for unusual and unexpected
droughts and accidents.
In those parts of the country where irrigation is practiced, there
seems to be no forage plant at all comparable to Alfalfa. It is not,
however, generally applicable to pasturage.
The best and most productive grasses for the arid plains and table-
lands of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are yet to be ascertained
through a series Gf well-conducted experiments, which should be under-
taken by the Government.
The reports here given include a number of forage plants, which are
not properly called grasses, as Alfalfa, Japan Clover, Cactus, &c.
They also present the views of many persons as to the needs of their
A number of the circulars were distributed at the North and in the
West, in order to compare resultson such kinds as have there been exper-
imented with; and, in order to make the history more complete, some in-
lormination is added from other sources. The common cultivated grasses,
such as Timothy, Kentucky Blue Grass, Redtop, and Clover, are not
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SPECIAL GRASSES AND FORAGE PLANTS FOR THE
SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST.
Paspalum dtilatatum, PI. I.
This may be called Hairy-flowered Paspalum. It has been found
native in Virgina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississipp)i, Louisiana, and
Texas, and has been introduced into other States. It also occurs in
South America. It-grows from 2 to 5 feet high, with numerous leaves
about a foot in length, and one-third to one-half an inch in breadth.
It does not creepl) upon the ground like the following species, but is in-
clined to grow in tufts, which may attain considerable size. It is rec-
ommended both for pasture and hay by the few who have tried it.
This species has been called Paspalum ovatium, but the name above
given, having been first applied, is the proper one.
Charles N. Ely, Smith Point, Southeastern Texas:
Paspalumn dilatatumn was brought to this country about twelve years ago and planted
by S. B& Wallis. It is a promising grass for hay and pasture, growing best on moist
lands, but doing well on upland. It is easily subdued by cultivation and is not in-
clined to encroach on cultivated lands. It is best propagated by Toots or sets, the
seed not being reliable. It is rather slow in starting, but when well rooted it spreads
and overcomes all other grasses. Tramping and grazing is mdre of an advantage to
it than otherwise. I think that this grass will succeed in a great variety of soils and
climates, but those planting it must have patience with it at first.
Mr. Wallis, above referred to, says:
This I consider the most valuable of all the grasses with which I am acquainted;
it is perennial and grows here all the year round, furnishing excellent green feed for
stock at all seasons, except that the green blades freeze in our very coldest weather;
perhaps two or three times in a winter. It increases rapidly from seeds, and also re-
produces itself from suckers, which splrout from the bodes of the culmh ifter the first
crop of seed has ripened. I have seen these suckers remain green tiolMx or eight
weeks after the old sftdks were as dead and dry as hay, and then when,.the old stalk
had fallen to the ground take root and form new plants. It grows well onilti kinds
of dry land. Plants two or three years old form stools 12 to 18 inches across. The
grass has very strong roots, and grows in the longest drought almost as fast as when
Mr. H. W. Johnson, of Dodge, Walker County, in Eastern Texas,
has sent specimens of this grass to the Department as a promising grass
for that locality. He states that it spreads rapidly and is relished by
all kinds of stock.
R. S. McCulloch, Baton Rouge, La.:
It is native here, hardy, and withstands drought admirably, but its cultivation is
neglected. It may be repeatedly cut for hay, and makes good pasture. It is adapted
to any land south of Virginia.
In 1883 Mr. McCulloch sent specimens of this grass to the Depart-
ment and said:
It grows here spontaneously in bunches or tussocks, holding its own against weeds
and all other grasses, even Bermuda. We have just experienced here in Louisiana a
drought lasting from July 15 to October 15, such as has not been known for many
years, and this grass is the only one which has withstood it successfully. It grows
very strongly, 2 to 3 feet high, flowers in June, and ripens in September and October.
This has sometimes been called Louisiana grass. It occurs in all the
Gulf States and in the West Indies and South America. It grows flat
on the ground, rooting at every joint, and forming at the South a thick,
permanent, evergreen sod. It does well on almost any upland soil, and
is said to stand drought better than Bermuda. It usually grows too
short and close to the ground for hay, but for grazing it apparently has
many good properties. It may be distinguished from the other Pas
palums and from Bermuda grass by its flattened stems (whence the
name), and the.very slender seed-stems, each bearing only two or three
very narrow, somewhat upright, spikes. The leaves, especially on the
long runners, are short and blunt.
The fact of its being a perennial, and seeding freely, of its doing bet-
ter than many other grasses on poor soil, forming a compact tuft to the
exclusion of other plants, and of its being easily killed by cultivation,
will doubtless recommend it for more extended growth.
Dr. Charles Mohr, Mobile, Ala.:
It has taken a firm foothold in this section. It is perfectly hardy, prefers damp lo-
calities, and suffers somewhat from long droughts. It grows best in a sandy loam,
rather close, compact, and damp, in exposed situations, as it does not stand shade
well. It stands browsing and tramping well, and is greedily eaten by all kinds of
stock. Its vegetation begins earlier in spring than that of Bermuda.
G. A. Frierson, Frierson's Mill, La., in the Southern Live-Stock Jour-
It grows everywhere in rather low, wet, clay lands, and stands tramping and graz-
ing as well or better than Bermuda.
B. 9. Brodnax, Brodnax, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana:
Paspalumiplatycaule was first noticed here about 1870 in very small patches. Since
then it has spread rapidly from seed. It is not cultivated. It stands frost very well
when firmly rooted, staying green nearly all winter, and it stands drought splendidly.
It grows best on a poor quality of land high above overflow, or where water could
stand on it. It is a splendid pasture grass, making a sod equal to Bermuda, bat it is
not cut for hay. It is very easily destroyed, one plowing being sufficient to kill it.
William F. Gill, Kerrville, Kerr County, Texas:
I have recently notice .d a grass making its appearance that as near as I can iden-
tify is this Paspalumn platycaule. I first noticed it in the valley at Leon Springs in
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Bexar County. These springs furnish stock with water during droughts for an area
of 12 or 15 miles. I feel certain that for two or three months of each year not less than
1,000 or 1,500 stock water there, besides which it is a favorite nooning place for
freighters. And yet in this little valley, hardly half a mile wide, and about 11 miles
long, adjacent to the spring this grass has gone on thickening and growing until now
the valley is the best sodded piece of laud I know of, and undoubtedly the worst
tramped. The habit of growth of this grass is very like the Bermuda, hbut it has
not quite such long runners. The culmis and seed spikes can hardly be distinguished
from those of the Bermuda. .1 have recently noticed some small patches in the Gia-
daloupe and Medina valleys, and it would, I think, with attention, prove as valuable
in this dry country as the Bermuda does elsewhere.
Charles N. Ely, Smith Point, Southeastern Texas:
I regard Paspaluna platycaule as the most valuable grazing grass in this part of the
State. With the salt-marsh grasses of the low lands on the coast it furnishes the best
pasture in this part of Texas. It has been spreading here fur the last thirty years,
and is supposed to have come originally from some part of Louisiana, hence by some
it is called Louisiana Grass. It will stand more tramping andt grazing than any other
grass in this part of the State, and on old uplands it forms a solid and,perpetual past-
nre. As a drought-resisting grass it has no equal here, and on any dry sandy or loamy
soil its limits of usefulness will only be determined by its ability to stand severe cold.
It does not make hay of commercial value, but it is cut by the farmers and used as
rough food during severe weather. As a general thing I think it is cut too ripe. If
cut when first coming into bloom I think the quality of the hay would be much im-
proved, and the sward sooner recover itself, and the new growth be of more value for
pasture than if left uncut. Like Paspalum dilalatuai this is slow in starting, but after
it gains strength it spreads over the surface, multiplying by sutickers, and by the seed
which is scattered by the wind. It spreads very fast, but is easily destroyed when
the land is desired for cultivation.
GUINEA GRASS, Panicum maximum, Jaq. ; (P.jumentorum, Pers.),
This is a native of Africa, which has been introduced into many trop-
ical countries, and in the West Indies is extensively cultivated. It has
been introduced into Florida and other places along the Gulf coast, but
is still little known in the United States. It requires a long season, is
very susceptible to frost, and ripens seed only in the warmest part of
the country. It has often been confounded with Johnson grass, and
many of the replies intended for this evidently referred to that plant.
The two, however, are entirely distinct. A sufficient point of distinc-
tion is the fact that Johnson grass spreads by underground stems, while
Guinea grass does not, but remains in bunches.
Its chief value is for hay or soiling, and it should be cut frequently
to prevent it becoming too coarse aid hard. The roots are perennial,
if protected from severe freezing, which may be done by a covering of
earth if necessary.
The plant is propagated either by divisions of the crown or by seed.
By the former method they may be started earlier in the season, and
will furnish an earlier cutting.
In 1873 the Department procured from Jamaica, West Indies, a sup-
ply of seeds of this grass, and distributed it for trial. Hon. Thomas
Reame, United States consul at Kingston, Jamaica, through whom the
seed was purchased, said in regard to it that of the two kinds of grasses
grown on the island almost exclusively (Bermuda and Guinea) the
Guinea is cultivated the more extensively. It grows tall and rank,
reaches the height of 8 or 10 feet when mature, and yields a coarse
seed, very much resembling millet. It grows anywhere on the island
up to the top of the highest mountains, growing rankest where the rain-
fall is most abundant. In St. Mary's Parish, which has more rains than
any other, it is coarser than when grown elsewhere. It is propagated
by "sets" and by seed. All stock thrive upon it.
M. C. Codrington, of Florida, formerly of Jamaica, says:
In coming to Florida I perceived that the great need of the State was a good grass
adapted to the climate. I wrote to Jamaica for some seed of the hardiest variety,
called there "1St. Mary's Grass." This I planted in the spring of 1872, and got, about
twelve plants to grow. As fast as the roots became sufficiently large I took them up,
separated them and replanted, some roots giving me twenty-five to thirty plants; but
I found that the planting should be done immediately after a heavy rain, when the
earth was quite wet. I continued this operation until September, when I allowed
the plants to go to seed. The plants stood several frosts before being killed. 1
then cut the fodder, and found, even then, that stock ate it with avidity. This
spring the old roots sprouted again, and all around them innumerable young plants
came up from seed. The land I used was poor worn-out pine land-too poor even to
grow sweet potatoes. The grass grew eight feet high in some places, and the second
season I cut some of it three times. The success of this grass I consider established
beyond a doubt.
J. G. Knapp, Limona, Fla.:
This very valuable grass found its way into Tampa many years ago from Cuba, or
some other of the West India islands. Though it ripens seed here, it is generally
propagated by dividing the roots,-and by the stolons springing from the lower joints
of the stems, which are used as plants As it sends forth no creeping root-stocks it
does inot form a tuft, but grows in clumps or bunches, leaving bare spots. When
planted in hills three feet apart each way the blades will meet and shade the entire
ground. It can be cut each month, from April to November, yielding a ton of hay at
each cutting. It should be cut as close to the ground as possible to prevent it form-
ing high tussocks, and for the same reason should not be pastured. A degree of cold
that will make an inch of ice will greatly damage, if not kill it, but such a freeze is
very unusual in this country. Few plants yield a larger amount of fodder, and for
this county it may be considered among the most valuable that we have. The roots
when placed on the surface readily decay. With proper fertilization a plantation
will remain productive for many years.
Jas. C. Neal, Archer, Fla.:
A valuable addition to the "cut forage plants" for this locality. It rapidly forms
great tufts of hard stems, however, and requires much fertilizing and constant cut-
ting to keep in good shape. It is greedily eaten by stock, and makes fine dry forage.
The first frost kills it to the ground, and this habit makes it of no value as a winter
grass. It ripens seeds here.
Dr. Charles Molhr, Mobile, Ala:
The cultivation of this grass was successfully tried a few years ago at the truck farm
of the Zimmer Brothers in this vicinity. The severe winters of the last two years,
however, killed the volunteer seedlings, which spring up during the fall, and which
aredepcde-d upon for new plantings the following spring. This and the ravages of
the army worm have caused its cultivation to be abandoned.
In a previous letter to the Department, he says:
It is planted with us in the beginning of April, and admits of the firl'bt cutting the
last week of May. It makes very large bunches, and should b)e cut before exceeding
the height of 18 inches. In that stage it is very sweet, tender, and easily cured as
hay. In moderately fertilized land and f;Lvorable seasons it may be cut every five or
six weeks, yielding, by throwing out numerous stolouN, increased crops until killed
down by frost. The roots are easily protected during winter by a good covering ot
earth, like the rattoons of sugar-canes, and allow ing o"f a manifold division, they afford
the best means of propagation. These root-cuttings are set out inu March or the begin-
ning of April.
CRAB GRASS, Panicum sanguinale, PL. III.
This grass was not mentioned in the circular of inquiry, but so many
have referred to it in the reports that is here inserted. It is an annual
grass, a native of the Old World, which has become spread over most
parts of this country, and is the one commonly called Crab-gras in the
Southern States. It occurs in cultivated and waste grounds, and grows
very rapidly during the hot summer months. The stems usually rise
to the height of 2 or 3 feet and bear at the summit three to six flower
spikes, each 4 to 6 inches long. The stems are bent at the lower joints,
where they frequently take root.
Professor Kellebrew, of Tennessee, says:
It is a fine pasture grass, but it has few leaves at the base and forms no sward, yet
it sends out from its base numerous stems or branches. It fills all our corn-fields,
and many persons pull it. out for feed, which is a tedious process. It makes sweet
hay, and horses are exceedingly fond of it, leaving the best of other hay to eat it.
Professor Ilhares, of Mississippi, says:
For a number of years I pursued the following plan with much satisfaction. A
piece of land that had matured plenty of Crab-grass seed was prepared, and in the
fall sowed with Bur Clover for winter aud spring pasture. As usual, the clover ma-
tured seed and died in May. Immediately the Crab-grass came up very thick. This
was mowed in July and again in August and October. The process was repeated for
a number of years without reseeding or any other work than mowing the grass. The
Bur Clover was never mnowed, but grazed from December until April, after which it
was allowed to cover the ground and mature seed. The process was continued, with-
out diminution of yield, until the land was wanted for another purpose.
E. W. Jones, Buena Vista, Miss.:
Crab-grass is one of our best hay and pasture grasses. It will make two tons of
first quality of hay per acre. All that is necessary is to plow and harrow the ground
in April, May, or June, and you will be sure of a crop. It grows well on ordinary
lands, but on sandy lands best.
W. S. Harrison, Starkville, Miss.:
It will not make permanent pastures or meadows, but requires the plow, and is
almost inseparable from cultivation. After an oat crop it gives a good yield of hay,
and after other crops are gathered it makes fine pasture.
James B. Seger, Haudsborough, Miss.:
Our natural "hay-grass" is Crab-grass, which comes on after spring gardens are
marketed. A field set in Crab-grass and cultivated in any manner during the spring
will never fail to grow a good hay crop without any seeding or other cultivation.
One ton to the acre on our average coast lands is about the yield. We plant pota-
toes here in February, and in March corn is planted among the potatoes. When the
corn is half grown the potatoes are dug, then the Crab-grass grows up, and after the
corn is taken off the grass is cut.
0. F. Mattox, of Homerville, Ga.:
Our native Crab-grass, Crow-tfoot, and Field Pea supply our every want as forage
C. Menelas, Savannah, Ga.:
Panicunm sanguinale, or Crab-grass, is known all over the cotton belt, but is little
appreciated, owing to its injury to growing crops, though it is often more valuable
han the crops themselves. It is very nutritious, and yields heavily. What is saved
as hay is from the corn and cotton fields, and it is not always secured in the proper
condition. Few yet cultivate it as a crop. I have tried its cultivation by way ot
simply plowing and harrowing a few acres on our creek bottoms, and doing no more
work until the time to mow it. In that way we not only secure a better quality of
hay, but the yield is at the rate of fully one and a half tons per acre.
TEXAS MILLET, Panicum Texanum, PI. IV.
This grass is a native of Texas, and was first described and named
in 1866 by Prof. S. B. Buckley, in his Preliminary Report of the Geo-
graphical and Agricultural Survey of Texas. It is frequently called
Colorado Grass, from its abundance along the Colorado River in that
State. In some localities it is known as River Grass; in others as Goose
Grass, from its being supposed to have been introduced by wild geese.
In Southern Texas it is sometimes called Buffalo Grass, and in Fayette
County it is known as Austin Grass, from the fact that it was first util-
ized as hay near Austin.
The most numerous and favorable reports regarding it are from Lam-
pasas, Burnet, and Travis Counties, along the Colorado River, and
southward through the central part of the State. From no grass so
little known have more favorable reports been received, especially from
the section where it is most abundant. It is but little known outside
of Texas. Of thle thirty-five valuable reports in regard to it, all but
six were from that State, and most of them from the region above indi-
The grass is an annual, growing usually from 2 to 4 feet high, and is
especially valuable for hay. It prefers rich alluvial soils, but stands
drought well, though on dry uplands its yield is much reduced. The
plant is furnished with an abundance of rather short and broad leaves,
and the stems, which are rather weak, are often produced in consider-
able number from a single root, and where the growth is rank are in-
clined to be decumbent at the base. It is valuable for all purposes for
which the ordinary millets are used, and should be tried throughout the
South. In Texas, where most largely grown, it generally overcomes
other grasses and weeds, but in some of the other Southern States
Crab-grass and weeds have interfered with its growth.
Fleming Moore, West Point, Fayette County, Central Texas:
I learn from the Farm and Fireside that your Department desires information re-
garding "' Southern grasses." I will confine my remarks solely to the Colorado Grass,
or Texas Millet, locally known as Austin Grass -this name being given from the fact
that it was first utilized as hay near the capital of Texas.
It was first discovered in DeWitt County, on the Guadaloupe River, the seed being
supposed to havebeen deposited there by wild geese. Its cultivation in some sections
is a profitable industry, which is assuming large proportions. It is rapid in its
growth, and stands a moderate drought well. It will stand almost dead for four
months, and then, when rain comes on, be brought to perfection. It prefers light
soils, but will grow in any part of the South except on black waxy land. On rich
sandy soil it will yield 3 tons per acre, and in favorable seasons may be cut three
times. It is only valuable for hay, and entirely unfit for pasture. It is easily sub-
dued by cultivation. After the ground has become well seeded, by one crop being
allowed to remain on the land uncut, it can be grown on the same land year after
As a hay plant I believe this to have no superior. It is especially excellent for
horses, mules, and milch cows. In summer, however, cows will not eat it unless
forced to; but in winter they relish it, and it proves excellent for making milk and
butter. In Travis County large farms have been devoted to this grass alone, the most
of the hay being consumed in the local markets, where it sells readily at $18 to $20
To obtain a crop it is only necessary to remove the stalks from a corn-field. The
grass will come of itself and give a good yield of hay. Some put in a crop of oats,
and after these are taken off break up the ground, after which, upon the first rain,
the grass comes up. Some set aside plats of unbroken ground, and when the weeds
come up in April, break and harrow; this kills the weeds, and the grass then comes
up so thick that it gets ahead of the weeds and chokes them out. After cutting the
grass the land is broken again, when, if there is any rain, a second crop is obtained
with absolute certainty. It yields seeds enormously, but the seeds ripen at different
times, those at the top first. The grass is cut and cured like any other hay, but must
be left in the sun uxraked at least two days. Care must be taken to cut it at the
proper time; if too late the seed will drop off; if too soon you will still have good.
hay, but the seed will be chaff. Examine the seed at the top of the head ; if it con-
tains milk, cut it; but if it contains green juice, wait a few days, but not until the
dough state is reached.
It might be inferred, from the grass being naturally in our fields, that it would be
a pest, but such is not the case. It roots near the surface, indeed so shallow that in
raking care must be taken not to pull up the stubble. A late rain in August brings
it up in the cotton fields, and it frequently gets higher than the cotton, before that is
picked, but beyond damaging the sample a little it does no injury. Inclosed I send
you a sample of this grass which is cured as it should be; some of the seeds are chaffy,
but most of them will germinate. I repeat, it is my favorite of all grasses for mak-
A correspondent of Lampasas County, Texas, writing to the Depart-
ment in 1883, says:
It is undoubtedly the finest forage plant in existence. For horses, .cattle, and sheep
it is excellent. They prefer it to any other kind of hay, or even to sheaf oats. It is
raised in this section by plowing the laud after a crop of small grain has been har-
vested. It is a sure crop, and produces two or three tons per acre.
H. L. Raven, Secretary Morrelltown Grange, Morrelltown, Travis
Said to have originated in this county on the river bottom below Austin. It comes
voluntarily, and after the corn is cut from the field is mown and made into hay.
Some plant no crop, but plow and harrow the land and get two cuttings. It is not a
good pasture plant, as it comes late and the first frost kills it.
M. M. Martin, Comanche, Tex.:
Colorado Grass has been introduced here on a small scale from the Colorado River.
It will make both a spring and fall crop, if it is seasonable. Like Crab grass, when
land is once set with it, it is there to stay, but other crops can be successfully grown
on the same land. I believe it would make a good fertilizer if it was chained down
and turned under. It will grow wherever Crab grass will grow, and it outsuckers
anything I ever saw, and every sucker has a head. I have been watching grasses for
several years, and I like it the best of any that I have seen yet.
S. B. Wallis, Wallisville, Southeastern Texas:
Panicum Texanurn is grown here from seed brought from Western Texas, and does
splendidly on cultivated ground, standing drought remarkably well, and making a
heavy crop of first-rate hay, besides the seed, which are very valuable for poultry feed.
It is considered the most valuable summer grass to grow on cultivated ground.
Specimens of this grass fully 10 feet in length have been received at the Depart-
ment from Mr. Wallis.
Prof. J. M1. McBryde, Columbia, S. C.:
A most promising grass, which flourished here the past season when Timothy, Or-
chard Grass, and Kentucky Blue grass alongside of it, were destroyed by drought.
F. M. Pierce, Farmington, N. Mex.:
It does well on all dry lands along streams above the first bottoms.
TEOSINTE, Euichlana luxurians.
Seeds of this semi-tropical forage plant were distributed by the De-
partment in the spring of 1886 and again in 1887. The plant consider-
ably resembles Indian corn, but is more slender, suckers far more, and
produces its seeds a few together in small tufts of husks instead of in
ears. Each seed is inclosed by the peculiar hardened outer glumes,
which would probably make it more difficult to digest than corn. The
plant has not yet been extensively tried, owing to the difficulty of ob-
taining seed, which has had to be imported, making it expensive and
liable to be of poor quality. Experience has shown, however, that it
will ripen in Southern Florida, and in a few other favorable locations in
the United States. Professor'Phares of Mississippi believes, from in-
stances that have come under his notice, that the seed may be success-
fully grown in some locations in the southern portion of that State, and
over a considerable part of Southeastern Louisiana, and that in all parts
of the Gulf States, even where it does not mature, it is destined to be-
come a most valuable forage plant. It is probable that by selection and
continued trial it may be made to ripen where it now does not.
J.C. Neal, Archer, Northern Florida:
Often tried, and with much fertilizer makes a tremendous growth, giving a large
amount of good forage, easily dried and available. The seeds I received from the De-
partment of Agriculture last year were deficient in vitality and but few grew, but
they showed that with good seed and care the Teosinte would be a valuable forage
plant. It will not ripen seed. I have tried to ripen it for ten years and failed.
J. G. Knapp, Limona, Southern Florida:
Great difficulty has been experienced in obtaining live seed of this most valuable fod-
der plant, seed obtained from seedsmen, having been imported from Honduras, be-
- SORGHUM IIALEPENSE.
ing too old to germinate. But during the past season a neighbor of mine has suc-
ceeded in obtaining a few seeds which grew, and his plants have matured their seeds,
all of which will be planted the present year. Seed has also been matured at Fort
Meade, in Polk County. Thus the question can be considered as settled, so faras this
locality is concerned, that Teosinte will mature its seed, and the country is placed in
possession of the best soiling and fodder plant known to the agriculturists of the
world. It endures heat, drought, and rains as well as sorghum and better than corn,
and may be cured for hay.
Dr. Charles Miohr, Mobile, Ala.:
This tropical grass does not ripen its seeds in this latitude ; it scarcely unfolds its
blossoms before the advent of the first frost. It is very tender, being easily affected
by frost or drought. During a cold spring it is diticult to secure a good stand, and
it is only after warm weather has fairly set in that it begins to make a rapid growth,
affording three cuttings and over of rich fodder on well-imaiire.d ground in a season
of genial showers. It is too succulent to be easily cured tor hay. On that account,
and from the difficulty in securing a good stand, and from the. necessity of procuring
each season a supply of seed from abroad, this grasx* has not, found the favor with the
cultivators of this section with which it. is held in the subtropical zulie.
J. S. Newman, Director Experiment Station, Auburn, Ala.::
Teosinte was cultivated on our experiment grounds last season with very satisfac-
tory results. It tillers like Cat-tail Millet, but makes a much more luxuriant growth.
It responds promptly and vigorously under the knife, andi may be repeatedly cut dur-
ing spring and summer. It does not, however, withstand drought as well as Millo
Maize or Kaffir Corn, and it died out completely during our seventy-five days of
drought last fall. I have a few seeds which were matured on the grounds of Mrs
George W. Benson in the open air at Marietta, Ga. He ripened seed two years ago on
a few plants which were forced in early spring and transplanted to the open ground.
Last year this seed was plated in the open ground, and produced plants which ma.
Tured the seed which I have. LIe seems thus to have succeeded in acclimating the
plant, which is therefore likely to prove a valuable acqui-.itiou.
Edward C. Reed, Meridian, Miss.:
Fine for green soiling. Could the seed be ripened in Florida it would pay farmers
to cultivate it until it became acclimated, as did the Millo Maize. This result is cer-
tainly worthy of the united effort of the Departient and the people of the South.
Ed. McD. Anderson, Dennis Mills, St. Helena Parish, East Louisiana:
My experience with Teosinte is limited to last year, 18&6. About May 1 my father
received from the Department of Agriculture a few packages of this seed, which he
distributed, keeping two for himself, which were planted the second week in May.
The seed germinated well. Two seeds were put in a hill. The plant suckers more
than any variety of sorghum that I am acquainted with. Four hills were cut down
three times during the summer when over waist high. Horses and cattle appear
very fond of it. It stood our severe drought during August, September, and Oc-
tober remarkably well. The first tassel was seen November 1, and'on the night of
the 17th we had a heavy frost. The Teosinte was then silking and the seeds forming.
I am confident that it would have matured seed had it been planted about March 1.
I consider it a forage plant superior to sorghum or Millo Maize.
JOHNSON GRASS, Sorghum halepense, P1. V.
This grass, which was introduced into cultivation in this country more
than fifty years ago, has within the last few years attracted renewed
attention. It is a native of the warm temperate regions of the Old World,
and has long been cultivated as a forage plant in the countries bordering
on the Mediterranean. The name Johnson Grass, which is the one now
most generally adopted in this country, originated from William John-
son, of Alabama, who introduced the grass into that State from South
Carolina about 1840. It had previously been known as Means Grass,
and that name is still occasionally used. It has also been largely grown
under the name of Guinea Grass, but that name should be restricted to
Panicum maximum, described in another part of this bulletin. It has
also been called Egyptian Grass, Green Valley Grass, Cuba Grass, Ala-
bama GuineaGrass, Australian Millet, and Morocco Millet. In California
it is best known as Evergreen Millet or Arabian Evergreen Millet.
There seems to be good evidence that some of these names have been
used at times in order to sell the seed at an unreasonably high price.
Johnson Grass seeds abundantly, and the seed maybe obtained of nearly
all seedsmen under that name.
This grass is best adapted to warm climates, and has proved most
valuable on warm dry soils in the Southern States. It has been tested
quite generally throughout the country, and is often recommended for
cultivation even in the North, but in the Northern States its growth is
much smaller than at the South, and in severe winters it is killed en-
tirely. It is occasionally more or less winter-killed as far south as the
northern portion of Texas and Alabama. Its chief value is for hay, in
regions where other grasses fail on account of drought. If cut early the
hay is of good quality, and several cuttings may be made in the season.
but if the cutting is delayed until the stalks are well grown, the hay is
so coarse and hard that stock do not eat it readily. The seed may
be sown at any time that the soil is warm and not too dry. Failures
often occur from sowing the seed too early. If there is danger that the
soil should dry out before the seed can germinate, soaking the seed
may be resorted to with good results. Thick seeding gives a heavier
yield and a better quality of hay. From 1 to 2 bushels are usually
sown per acre, according to the cleanness of the seed. In case of failure
to get a good stand the crop may be allowed to go to seed the first year
after which the vacant places will be found to be self seeded. On small
patches in such cases the ground is sometimes plowed up and the un-
derground stems scattered along in the furrows over the vacant spots.
In most localities it is generally considered desirable to plow the land
set in Johnson Grass about every third year. Otherwise the root-stocks
become matted near the surface and the crop is more affected by
drought. Plowing causes it to grow more thick and vigorous. If de-
sired, a large portion of the root-stocks may be removed at the time of
plowing without injuring the stand. The greatest objection to John-
son Grass is the difficulty of eradicating it. Care should be taken not
to introduce it into fields intended for cultivation. It spreads rapidly,
both by the root and by seed, and is apt to enter fields where it is not
wanted. On stock-farms this feature is not so objectionable as elsewhere.
The grass is not well adapted to pasture, and close pasturing is one
means of getting rid of it. Its succulent subterranean stems are usually
well liked by hogs after they have become accustomed to them, anld by
keeping hogs closely confined upon1 it, it may be eradlicate(l. Another
method of eradication which is reeomllmlel(led is to plow in thie ila l, so
as to expose it to thle action of frost. In the South, where this grass
is most largely grown, this is only partially successful.
J. N. Rnne, Duffau Wells, Erathi Contty, Northern Texas
Johnson Grass is the onlyi." enltrivatted grass that hI:s 1,ee'1. tried ill this lc ality, but
it spreads so rapidly, and is so dlit1itilt to subdue, that. farmers ari,: afrai'I of it. It
can be kept from spreading b1y noIt luttillg it. go to s'ed. It dEIto viDot minakc choice
fodder for cattle, but is excellent past ure ifor mhogs s i ite winter. ''liey, work o)n the
roots, which are large andl very numerous, and h do not sei t)o nirt tlho yield fior the
G. W. Jenks, Stepheuville, Erath Comiunty, Texas:
Johnson Grass is susceptible to) cold, lihence is not. an tarly gri:ss, uit wh l.en it, does
come it grows very fast. T'hlie roots are valuable, for h .ogs, and they '1an le. plowed
up and saved for cow\ feed vwitlhLout itijuiing the stand, f6ir tIe foillowinglr year. Stock.
raisers speak in high sterns of it. It. will no doubt prive :a valuable grass for the
ranches ill Northiwest Texas, as; thle yield is iitiiins,, and it. stand-; tihe drv suiiiiincrs
John Vernon, Willow Hole, Madison County, Texas
Johnson Grass makes very good pasture, all kintils of stock eat it freely, and IIhos
will eat the root to some extent. It makes very pwir hay, antl iitist le plowed and
well harrowed every year even to make good pasture. It will grow andl make. seed
without. plowing, but the growth will be short after thesecond year. The plant, how-
ever, is a great curse anywhere near cultivated land, say within half a mile. The
seed gets scattered somehow, and it. is impossible to subl)d(le it, otn cultivated land, at
least in those South. I have beerftold that to plow' it in tlhe winter and let the roots
freeze will kill it, but uot such freezes as we have here. I have tried it, and the
freezes only kill the few roots which lie on top of the ground.
John A. Hill, Whitehouse, Tex.:
We need something that will stand a long dry hot summer. Johnson Grass will do
this, but it is too hard to subldue. A great many ranchmnien and farmers are experi-
menting largely with it ; some praise it highly, others are not well pleased with it.
J. C. Vaughn, Paraje, N. Mex.:
It does well, and I thiuk after the second year will make better pasture than Alfalfa,
and need but little, if any, irrigation. Nothing lhut ;a perennial is of any use in this
country, on account of our dry winters and springs. Bermudain Timothy, and Redtop
have failed with me.
Other reports from New Mexico are less favorable. In a I)ortion of
the Territory it is liable to winter kill.
S. B. Parish, San Bernardino, Cal.:
It has been largely expl)erimented on here utinder the name of Evergreen Millet, but
I know of no one who continues to use it. I have, seen it Iloihri.hiiug.' on tlie sandy
banks of streams where it had escaped from cultivation.
W. A. Sanders, Sanders, Fresno County, C(aliornia.:
The Sorgh/im halepense fails in furnishing winter feed. There i-s also a more serious
objection. It roots deep into the subsoil, and where that is al all alkaline it, grows
enormously, but at the same time absorbs so much of the uinpalatalle alkali that
stock will not eat it. It is excellent for dry hills free from alkali.
Hirainm Sibley & Co., Chicago, Ill. :
We havei sold it illn sinall q ii iitities to go into Iowa and Nebraska, but it did not
suicteed there. \Wo consider it. of' valtie only in the Sou th, to redeem swampy laud
1 Iliat sul iject. to overlIow. It is too ) coarse to give satisfac tion in northern latitudes
either for l,:iy or pa't lir'e.
W. B. Averill, I Ieriindon, Fairfax County, Virginia:
I sowed some Johnson Grass a year ago last, spring and it. did well during the sum-
mier, lIut, Itiled to al.ppear thle following spring.
Others frioin Virginia, report failure onil account of winter killing, but
on the grounds oft tie Departmient it has been grown successfully for
many years, though in a soimewlhat sheltered location.
Prof. J. M. MeBryde, Columbia, S. C.:
On the Con-ga ne liAts, in Alalania., it. is cultivated iln meadows of several hundred
acres. It is leLarly hardy, Ilit. was killed oln wet lhialds iy tlithe exceptionally cold
weathlier of last winter.
J. N. Brasheair, jr., Port Gibson, Miss.:
It was introduced into our section ten years ago, and lhas increased in favor ever
since. It is best adlplted tto oiidleirateily rich, sandy soil, as, ift the land is very richli
it grows large and becoimies tool) woody for ood fevd. Planting very thickly iiil)roves
it for hbay iand increases its yield.
Prof. F. A. Gulley, Agricultural College, Mississippi:
A most valdiiable hay plant oin rich, well-drained land. but a pest on poor or wet land.
A. B. Lzinglois, Pointe 'I. la Hache, La.:
It has been introduced several tiiiies into cultivation here, blit. is now generally
:ilbandloned, though in many pl:ies it remains as a weed, particularly in corn and cane
J. W. Sylvester, Washington, Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana:
There are, perhaps, fifty acres of it in this pairishi. Its yield is more unifornil, tak-
ing one year with another, than any other grass I know of. I have known it for
about seven years, aid am i .i iy sllimall plantati()on of it. It seellms to succeed
best. in stillff black soils, where it will withstand almost any amount of drought or
MILLO MAIZE, Sorgulin ruiga re (variety).
This plant has been widely discussed within the last few years in the
agricultural press, and is valued by many who have grown it as a fod-
der plant in the South. There is considerable difference of opinion,
however, as to its relative value as compared with the other sorghums,
and with Indian corn. The following from among the replies received
are given as additional evidence in regard to it.
J. S. Newman, director experiment station, Agricultural aud Mechan-
ical College, Auburn, Ala.:
The popularity of this plant is waning, it having no special advantages over com-
m111)11 oi, cat-tail, millet, or common sorghum.
As evidence thlit Millh Mai., lias undergone acclinmiation, I will add that plants
grown fromii seed freshlly imniported fromn South America do not. mature seeds hero.
Dr. Charles Mohr, MIobile, Ala.:
In the last. three seasons this has heen grown successfully in this vicinity by several
parties. It ripens its seed before the advent of frost, which kills the plants to the
toots. It does very well in tihe light soils of the coast plain, ad perhaps everywhere
in the pine region where there is a clay lbuul;atiioi. Thei growth ofthis grass during
the early part or the season is muiich ret;arded by tie chilly nights and spells oft con-
tinued cold weather. It is only after the advent of" settled warmn weather that it
enters upon its period of more vigtorouis growth.
Four cuttings may be taken during theI season.
Plants intended for seed are left uiindlist ii rbed, anod grow to a height of 18 or 20 feet,
ripening in October. Great trouble in secitring th,' see'd is cailised by 1th ravages of
The. fodder obtained from the repeated cuttings, on aH i .'onlt, of its siuccleiIcel, is
difficult to cure, and in dampnl) weather almost iimpossilble. To cure dry fodder for
winter use the plants are, after the second cutting. left to grow until towards tiheend
of the season, when, having obtained a eighlit of 12 to 15 fet, and before opellninllg
their Ilowers, thie stalks are cut and placed on ,nd ini small shocks. After being
sufficiently dried they are placed upright uider 1 a airy shied or lbarn, prohtected
from the damp. In that way suilicient ventilation is secured to prevent lirating and
molding, and to keepl the foildder sweet and pal:atalil,. 1'i, f lodi,'r is saiid' to be pre-
ferred by all kinds of live stock to any ot her fodder or hay. As to its nutritious value
as compared with corn fodder opinions di'fr. ThLe se'=s are plauted in spring in
beds, which can be covered over during cool nights, and from I.,es' are. transferred,
when 8 to 10 inches in height, to t.he fiIll, aMnd thereafter t-reated in Ilie saiimei manner
J. B. Darthit, Denver, S. C.:
It grows here very well, and matures seed since it has become acclimated. I have
never planted anything for forage that yielded finer crop, but as it is very exhanstiv
to the land and is not of very great value for feed, I have iquit raising it.
James H. Fowles, Orangeburg Court House, S. C.:
It is little grown here, but gives a large yield, and stands drought well. If planted
late it fails to mature seed, but it does mature them in less time now than when first
introduced. It is not very highly thought of. pearl millet being superior for cutting
green, and arsber sorghum better for seed, as well as for feeding in the dry state.
William B. McDaniel, Faceville, G(a.:
Millo Maize grows finely, I believe, all over Georgia. While green and growing
my stock would not eat it, but last fall after frost imy oxen ate it greedily, eating the
heads and blades, the stalk being too tough.
E. W. Jones, Buena Vista, Miss.:
It does finely here, and makes splendid green feed, and may be cut for that purpose
about three times a year, but stock do not relish it, mucih after it is dry.
H. D. Shaw, Carrollton, Miss.:
Milo Maize (yellow variety) is the most profitable forage plant that can be raised
in Mississippi. The seeds matlire, and are excellent stock food. It grows luxuriantly
in all portions of the State. The white variety does not yield so well, though this
year I harvested 2j tons of cured hay of the white variety from 1 acre of poor hill
land that would not have made to exceed S bushels of 'orn. The white variety does
not mature its seed in this latitude.
Leonard A. Heil, San Antonio, Tex.:
Seed of this forage plant has been distributed in this section, and planted by quite
a number of intelligent men, who proounce it interior to the common sorgblumn or to
corn fodder, stock leaving it to go to either of themni. It seeds very profusely, but,
as poultry is not an object among the ranchmen, it has no value in that direction.
AMERICAN CANARY GRASS, Phalaris intermedia, PI. VI.
Also called Reed Canary Grass, Stewart's Canary Grass, Gilbert's Re-
lief Grass, and California Timothy.
This species resembles the foreign Canary Grass (Phalaris Canariensis)
which produces the seed commonly sold for canary birds. It is, how-
ever, taller and more robust, growing 2 or 3 feet high, with a -stout erect
stalk, and broad leaves from 4 to 10 inches long. The spike or head
is oblong and compact, 1 to 2 inches long. There is a variety called
angusta which is larger and more valuable, and in which the spike is
more narrow and 3 to 4 inches long.
This grass grows native from South Carolina through the Gulf States,
and across into California and Oregon. On the Pacific coast it is not
considered of much value. From the South it has frequently been sent
to the Department as a valuable winter grass.
It is comparatively little known in cultivation, and the evidence on
some points in regard to it is somewhat conflicting, but there is much
testimony as to its value for winter and spring grazing and for hay.
It is worthy of extended trial, and by cultivation and selection it will
no doubt prove of permanent value in some localities.
Thomas W. Beaty, of Conway, S. C.:
The inclosed specimen is from seed planted last September, and was cut on the 9th
of the following March. You will notice that it is heading out, and is just now
in the right condition for mowing. It is wholly a winter grass, dying down in the
latter part of April or early in May. It seems to me that it would le a valuable thing
for the South if properly introduced and cultivated, or rather the ground properly
prepared and the seed sown at the right time. It would afford the best of green
pasturage for sheep or cattle all winter. We call it Gilbert's relief grass.
A. B. Langlois, Pointe a, la Hache, La.:
It is killed nearly to the ground by the first frost. Only the variety anyusta grows
here to any extent. It is found in damp swampy places, growing with great vigor.
The typical species I have seen sparingly on drier poorer lands, but it i8 far from
being as vigorous as the variety.
S. B. Wallis, Wallisville, Southeastern Texas:
I consider it our most valuable grass for winter pastures and for an early crop of hay.
It grows all through the winter, is not affected by cold, anti makes a heavy crop of
seed very valuable for poultry.
Dr. G. Lincecum, of Texas, in an article on Southern Grasses in the
Patent Office Report of 1860, p. 235, says:
The Phalaris is an indigenous biennial grass, superior for hay. It comes up during
the autumnal rains, and in its odor, taste, habits, and mode of throwing off radical
branches it so much resembles wheat, that it requires considerable familiarity with
both to distinguish them during the winter and spring months. It. matures towards
the first of May. A few years ago I prepared the ground and sowed 2 acres of it. It
rose 3 feet to 40 inches in height, alnd was mowed on the 2rth of April. It produced
a fine lot of hay, and, coming at the time it did, it seenimed to be more acceptable to
my horses than anything else that I had of the fodder kind. I have seen bunches of
this grass in favorable situations 7 feet high with 54 stems bearing heads on the same
stock. The seeds are about the size and very much like flaxseed. It flourishes well
on all our good timbered lands, but imichl time best on our black prairie soil.
V I I
Daniel Griswohl, Westinlinster, Los Angeles County, California:
It, is a Iat ive gras, giig in vtry wct places, Uld iilt mLuch thought of. I.t lo.Scs
its seeds very ilqlictLly, :iiil makes lpour hay.
S3IUT GRASS, SpVwrbioluts Iitdicus, P1. VII.
This grass is a native otf India, but has sl)read over most tropical and
warm climates. It occurs more or less abundantly in all the Southern
States, and is called Smut Grass from the filact that after flowering the
heads frequently become affected with a black smut.
Some have supposed this s:nut to be poisonous, from its somewhat
resembling the ergot of rye, but it is caused by an entirely different
fungus, and there is no evidence that it is of a poisonous nature. The
names Carpet grass and Drop seed are sometimes given to this grass,
but there are other grasses to which these names are applied more prop-
iSmut Grass is a perennial, inclined to grow in tufts or loose patches,
growing erect, usually from 1- to 3 feet high, with an abundance of
long, hlat, p)oilted leaves near the base, and a very narrow terminal
panicle, frequently a foot high. It has never been cultivated, as far as
I know, but forms very good natural pasture in some localities. It
should be kept fed down, as if allowed to throw up its seed stalks, stock,
especially cattle, do not eat it readily, the stems being hard and woody.
For the same reason it is not coiidered very valuable for hay. If sown
thickly, and kept closely grazed, it may prove worthy of cultivation for
a summer pasture.
5. N. Brashear, jr., Port Gibsont, Miss.:
It is common all over our pI)asture lauds and is very hardy, standing any sort of
weather. It grows well on almost any kind of land, but docs best on rich, moist
bottoms. It is not. used to any considerable extent for hay, but it makes splendid
feed if cut while young. It will yield about. 1 tons per acre. It can be easilykept
down by cultivation, but as soou as we ,quit cultivating the laud, it comes up again.
It makes a splendid pasture plant, and that is what we generally use it for. Stock
are generally fond of it until it goes to seed, and they sometimes eat it when dry in
winter. It, never needs reseeding when once started.
Dr. Charles Mohr, Mobile, Ala.:
Frequently found spontaneous around habitations, and is perfectly hardy against
cold and drought. In dry, light, loamy soil it grows in tussocks. It does well in the
shade, and takes posseshion of the grass-plots around farm buildings. It is a coarse
grass, and seems but little relished by horned cattle, but is generally eaten by horses
Prof. J. M. McBryde, State Agricultural and Mechanical College,
Columbia, S. C.:
It is widely established, and is a pest in lawns on account of its bunchy habit. It
grows in tufts, very coarse and tough, and when old is refused by stock, but when
young affords good pasturage. It, is not cut for hay. It is earlier than Bermnda, and
withstands drought well.
R. J. lKedding, Atlanta, Ga.:
(,vows iii Soiitlitw stnrii ( 1,i'rgia, but. is iu1t. muchll esteemed.
Mrs. J. A. lflancliard, ITatilla, Orange County, Central Florida:
A i'r'netIMCt c'lTcn ibnch gr'ass, which onl sonue of our flat moist lauds makes
I goodq deal lof I t" gIasl and alIl'trds abundant and nutritious pasturage. It was set
in our yarz'd by thie foi'mier cowiier aind is a constant grower, winter and summer, if not
allowed to sted.
,ILames C. Neal, M. 1)., Archer, Alachua County, Northern Florida:
()e' of on best. siliiiamer grasses, grows everywhere and is well liked by cattle.
J. (G. Kna)pp, State statistical agent, Limona, Hillsborough County,
This grass is rapidly sprn.ading through the county, and forms a winter pasture.
It grow's with Bleimnuda. ani the two give Igreen pastur, through the year. Stock re-
fuse to cat tli. sexdl :.tcimw, and these slionld be cut down alter it has ripened its seeds.
It is pirfictly I;hardyil, land grows ,luring the driest season, yielding about the same
amnouint of hay or pasture as Ber'mida, and about as nutritious.
VELVET GRASS, Holcus lauatusi PI. VIII.
Also known as Meadow Soft Grass, Velvet Lawn Grass, Velvet Mesquit
Grass, &c. Introduced from Europe, and naturalized in many parts of
tlhe United States. It. makes a striking and beautiful appearance, but
stock are not very fond of it, either green or cured. It is a perennial,
but not very strongly rooted, and does not spread from the root as do
most perennial grasses. It seeds abundantly, and is generally propa-
gated by seed, thouar'h sometimes by dividing the plants. It prefers
low land, but does very well even on sandy upland, and its chief value
is in being able to grow on land too poor for other grasses. The seed
lhas been in market many years, but it has come into cultivation very
slowly, and it is not generally held in very high esteem as an agricultural
grass, either in this (couiItry or in Europe. Some sl)eak well of it, how-
ever, and it lhas frequently been sent to the J)epartment from the South
with strong recommendations fbr its productiveness.
C. Menelas, Savannah, Ga.:
KI iown almost all over the Southi as yielding,, more than oruhaird grass, but forsome
reason only ,grow\v where nature has planted it.
Mrs. J. W. Bryan, Dillon, Northwestern Georgia:
My tmeadows antd ditches arc full of it, though it is not sown here. It is very val-
uable fir pmsture, anmd gives a very early and heavy yield of hay.
L. S. Nicholson, Crumly, Northeastern Alabama
T'iis grass has 1;,)ttI glrow I Oil a farm I own for al)bout ten years. It does best on
riih moitist landl, but rows(' fairly well oil poor, dry, sandy land, where other, and, I
nitnst say, bett'ri grasses fail.
It grows from wo t) t three' feet hili and makes apparently sultiient hay, but very
liglit ad1, clhaltl ;vi; ,ti (Wt imfrior nalitty. It appears to be hlardy and will withstand
drought., very vell. The grass is right pretty when- growing, and nice for pastures,
Itit .we have other grasses so niuclh better that can generally 1e grown on land that
this would occupy that I shall vote against it for all purposes.
.H HMchols S
Clarke Lewis, Clit'toliville, Miss.
It grows on plr, .111sandy land to a. It'i.,.it oif threat: to utr feet ; sUaitad, drtglit
well, but can be killed lIy ; slight ovi)erllow. It is valuable Ias .a stilitg plaiit, but
makes interior hay. It is Ill ;aiiLli;il, iLill ift' intended for a permanent meadow mi-,t
be cut only otaet andl then alloweCi to 'r.s'ed itself.
H. AV. L. Lewis, secretary L,;iisia:a State Grange, Taugipalhoua Par-
isL, Louisiana (P. 0., Osyka, Miss.)
It is hardly :ad c.ltivated ini siaill lots,. doing 1l..i oi rich, sandy loam, yieldiltg
two to three tonls lir acre. I liv, expieriiiieiiitld i1o101' (tllii any tiitie tlsei illu lily s'-
tion with r 'ag.,rt, idsI.Ils, th-Slieci;illy w'iliter gr;ilis ;t.t1d grls.e.es. ILive i.uts ryie ;t1ll
barley for winter feed, lbttt have ic' g iiI t intl up in fav
roots it. di-b otit. diiirin.g our long. dry s8111niier ;a(id fall frin'i 50 to 75 per ceiit. One
lot. kept the tliird year hiadil lss than i10 lier coniit. of the gra.s alive. li,.rtiL I have for
twenty -,'ea"s or iitIre used it as anll alLillal;, sowing it with turnips., coIurd.s, or by it-
self. A .'ujod w'ay is to sow tihe' seeCd ilI'r:nlahtt and cover lightly inll a late crn p of
turnips after the last ciltivation. After thle t0rn1ip crop is removed the Iir,-4 wa >r11
daYs in Jan.alary or lelirilary N% ill start tlie grass into rapid grovwth. It is cut frt-
quently through the spring lfor ri en feil and after oats are ready to cut, i.s allo,.td
to mat nre seed.
Prof. William I. Dudley, Ithaca, N. Y.
It. is hardy, but does not grow wilt] l,.rt'. It is common on some of the Elizalieth
Islands olf New Bedford, especially otzi Pntikese, where mnitty sheep are lkept which
eat it freely.
Dr. A. Gattiiger, Nashville, Tenii.:
This is spreading rapidly in East 'Tei'i.e-see, especially in the iounttaiis, but not
in Middle or West Tennessee. It in;ikes good hay, but not tlhe best. It grows more
luxuiriantly here than in Geritanty.
Prof. S. M. Traey, Columnbia, MIo.:
It makes a wveak growth anil is of to v\altue in Missouri.
D)r. AV. J. Beal, Agkricultural College, Michigan :
It is poor stuff where w\e can grow soonmietLhiug better.
Prof. James Troop, La Fayette, lud.:
It is bint little cultivated, though it is p-rfectly hardy and does well on our black
James I. Hebbron, Saliuas City, Cal., sends specimens of Holcus
lanatus and says:
I inceloso a FIew heads of what is known and sold in the seed stores hlere a; Mes.t1iit
Grass, said to Iitve coii- tfro:n Texas, tlt)hollgh I never saw any like it there It
grows well In all kindil. of soil ili this locally, and al1 along the coast withiuthe fog"
belt. If the :-eed is s-;attered in the timber or on th+e hillsides, it catches vr.y r,'ail-
ily witholiot plowing or liarrowinll. anlid its abulttlalnt seedIs spread it very rapidly.
It collies early, a;id if fted dowvii, keepsl, greei a loalou timai'. WIn'n y,1'1.1 t it is liable
to be pulled lup or broken otff by stock feeding on it.
PLrof'.J. 13. lKillebrew, in "The Grasses of Tennessee," says :
It :lbouitdtls on tile 11121rshy flaIts of tile Ciiit'htlarlatid lMountains, butt stock do not eat
it as well as some oilher kids. For lawits or yards, however, it is nueqaiild. A
yard tturfed otcr wi(Ih llis gra '' ltt s !It. a lio.t lovely a;p+liar;in''e, and looks as if
spread with a velvet carpet. It is easily propragattd. neediiin to be sown butlightly,
after which it will take care of itself. '1 he chief merits of this grass are its soft
beauty, its producitiveness, and its tenacity of life ; when once well set it bids defi-
4n.e to all other species. Enriching the soil is the only way to get rid of it. It
grows well i}upon tlin sandy places, and will therefore suit the sandstone soil of the6
Cumberland Mountains. The seeds weigh about 7 pounds to the bushel, and as many
as 60 bushels have been grown to the acre.
Prof. D. L. Phares, in his Farmer's Book of Grasses," says:
In the Eastern States this grass is called Salemi Grass, and White Timothy; in the
South, Velvet Lawn Grass, and Velvet. Mesquit Grass ; in Euglaud, Wooly Soft Grass
and Yorkshire Whbite. It has been sent to me for name more frequently than any
other grass. Having Ibound its way to Texas, people going there from other States
have sent back .eucds to their friends, calling it Texas Velvet Mesquit Grass, suppos-
ing it a native of that State. So ftir as has come to my knowledge, nine-tenths of all
Mo-called M.s.quit Grass planted in the Southern States is this European Velvet Grass.
It grows much larger in sonic of the Southern States than in the Eastern States or in
England, and seems to have greatly improved by acclimation.
Velvet Grass may be readily propagated by sowing the seed or dividing the roots.
It luxuIriates in moist lpeaty lands, but will grow on poor sandy or clay hill lands,
and produce remuiuerative crops where few other plants will make anything.
The reason thliat cattle do not prefer it is not because of a deficiency in nutrition,
but because of its combination. It is deficient simply in saline and bitter extractive
matters which cattle relish in grasses.
It is byno incanus thlie best of our grasses, but best on some lands. Other grasses
are more profitable to me. It .should bW sown from August to October, 14 pounds
equal to two bushels per acre. Northward it is perennial, in the South not strictly so.
TALL OAT GRA.SS, 1rrtih(tltCerflim renaceum, PI. IX.
Oat Grass, Taller Oat Grass, Tall Meadow Oat Grass, Ray Grass, &c.
This vigorous perennial hlas been introduced and widely distributed
in this country. It is adapted to a variety of soils and climates, and
is found naturalized in many localities, btt it does not appear to meet
with the favor here that it does on the continent of Europe. It is used
both for hay and pasture, but is chiefly valued for winter and early
spring pasture, especially at the South, for light soils, and though not
of finest quality it is eaten very well by stock in the absence of other
grasses or when mixed with them.
A. P. Rowe, FredericksbIurg, Va. :
Tall Oat Grass has been seeded here aw does well. It cones in with Orchard
Grass for hay, ani. thc two might be seeded together with the best results.
T. W. Wood & Sons, Richmond. Va.:
It is cultiv.jteid very generally for past ire auwl hay, and is the best grass we know
for thin soils. It is hardy, stands drought nl:)derately well, is easily subdued, and
la-,ts five or six years.
D. K. Norris, Hickory Flat, S. C. :
It is mpopii'ar within a.ll who have tried it for pastures. It prefers moist (not wet) clay
loam, anld lasts fiiur years.
Hiram Sibley & Co., Chicago, Ill.
Taaller Oat (Grai- is grown to so,,n' extent on mlist sandy loam, and yields heavily,
but is 1not a favorite. It[ is hard-" a1d w1ithstaL(Ids drought well after the first year.
aAvl -j Lc
It is best adapted to saudy loniii or it, ideliai ned Mswva1lpy lInid, whi'rt it yields 3 or
4 tons per acre at ti1e lirst. citl ingi :n111d :;iloit LA toIns t c t'icond. It lasts from
four to bix y iIIrs, anid is inot so daily siill(d ,cld liy cultivation asi 'T'inotliy.
Dr. W. J. B1al, Agric ltural C1 ll(, ge, Michigan
It is cultivlat.ed ill a few places in t0l' Stiate, rovin perfect" tly hardy, and doing
best on deep porois soils w hecre it stands driving lt Ivery well, I iitlding perhaps 3 tons
per acre. It makes good pasture and last., ;ia lng till):.
J. J. Dotson, Cedtlartonl, 'T'ex.:
It is very fair for cat ly .sprillng li tu.reVs, a.11d to ceit lor grecyii fecil w'hen it first heads
in March, but it is not. liked a.- Lay. It is too light, ;ilnd t lit' seeds fall I tt oo(easily.
I have never known it cutlt ivateil. Thrives only oLi low liottotl land.
Prof. D. L. Phares, of M1ississippi, says:
It is widely iiatirilizd, a wl adapted to aa nrd.at 'aitly iScioils. On sandy and
gravelly soils it sn 'ceca'dis adliiraalily, go1"'i\ii' "2 to 3 Itc lii;,i. I c ricih d iry uplaind
it. grows 5 to 7 Ifcet hii i. It, lia:s an a 1 iildaiiie ot l rCuiial l ,ing liir s n tIiro)ts, pene-
trating deeply in thle soil, tenilbliig" it to resi.st, drought auid cold alid yield a large
aniountL of foliage winter :aid iUnmicl'r.
Thes advantitages reniT it 01one1 of thie very best glasses for the Soulth, both for
grazing, being evergreen, ,ndl for hay. admitting of Ieing cllt. twice a year. It is
proabbly the best, winter grass that, c.n l u obtaiunedl. It will make t wice as much hay
as Timothy. To miak,e too l hay it iniii-,t 1e cilit its soon ais it, blooltls, .and after cut,
must not be wet. by dt.w vor rain, w' which Lamnm:a*es it, greatly iu q(iiaility alil, aIppearance.
For greeu soililng it in:L3y bIe etlit. f ir o r l iv', t.iruei in ft;vorablIt s'a.; Mns. In froln six
to ten days after bltloomnug tlie seeds begin to riipei antal fall, the iimper ones first.
It is therefore soinew hat troutble.soine to s-iv,' the secil ; as soin as those at the top of
the paunicle. ripenl suflficiently to bhgin totlrlop, they should I)be cut and dried, when
they will mature and thrash out readily. It imay, be sowed in March or April, and be
mowed the sainte season ; but if sown in September or October, the yield the next
season will be heavier. Not less thau 2 bushels (14 pounds) per acre should be sown.
The aunual yield of this grass ill the SoIttir'll belt is plrOhablly twice as great as in
Peuusylvaniai aud tlie Northern S'aatts.
]EHI3IU'DA G(ASS, Ciniodon dutiyhlon, PI. X.
This is undoubtedly, on the whole, the most valuable grass in the
South. It is a native or Southern Europe, and of all tropical countries.
It is a common pasture grass in the West Indies and tlhe Sandwich
Islands, and has long been known in the United States, but the diffi-
culty of eradicating it when once established has retarded its introduc-
tion into cultivation. Its value, however, is becoming more appre-
ciated now that more attention is being given to gras and relatively
less to cotton, and better methods and implements of cultivation are
being employed. Still, it. seems probable, from the reports received,
that at the present time a majority of farmers would prefer not to have
it on their farms. It seeds very sparingly in the United States, and as
the imported seed is not always to be had, and is expensive, and often
of poor (quality, those wlho have desired to cultivate it on a large scale
have seldom been able to do so. It i.i generally used as a lawn grass,
and to hold levees or railroad embaikments, and for sinmall pastures.
In some localities, however, it has spread over a considerable extent of
territory. Its natural extension into new territory has been slow, owing
to the nearly or enulire absence of seed, but it spreads rapidly by ist
aerial and subterraneanl rooting stemins when introduced. It is usually
propagatedl artificially by ineans of the sets or rooting stems. These
are sometimes chOl)l)edl ulp with a cutting knife, sown )broadcast and
1)lowed under shallow ; sometimes they are dropped a foot or two apart
in sliallow furrows, and covered by a plow ; sometimes pieces of the
sod are lialItedl about two feet apart each way. By any of these means,
a coirtiiuoiis sod is obtli nedl in a few 1mon7ths if thle soil is good and
well prepaid ed.
The chief value of Bermnuda is for sumnier p1)asture. It grows best
in tile hottest weather, and ordinary droughts affect it but little. The
tops are easily killed by frosts, but the roots are (quite hardy through-
out the Southern States. It is grown to some extent as far north as Vir-
r"illia, but il that latitude it possesses little advantage over other
grasses. In Tennessee, according to Professor Kiilebrew, its chief
value is for pasture, there being other grasses there of more value for
hay. Farther south, however, it is highly prized for hay. To make
the largest quantity and best quality it should he mowed several times
during thle sea-on. The yield varies greatly according to soil, being
generally reported at from a ton and a half to two tons per acre. Much
larger yields have been reported, however, in specially favorable locali-
ties, where several cuttings were made.
Bermu(da is more easily eradicated from sandy land than from clay,
and on such land may be more safely introduced into a rotation. To
kill it out it should be rooted up or plowed( very shallow some time in
December andl cultivated or harrowed occasionally during tlie winter.
If severe freezes occur most of it will be killed by spring ; or it may be
turned under deeply in spring and the land cultivated in some hoed
crop or one which will heavily shade tihe ground.
M. -M. Martin, Comanlche, C(>'manche County, Central Texas"
Berwmuda Grass nsws on any kin e of soil in Texas, but will wit stand tihl trallimp-
ing of stock on loose sandy v-,,il. It is -hard to heat for a graiing grass, though long
droughts can,,. it to dry up. It is not \ cry early to start in the spring.
William F. (Gill, Kerrville, Klerr County, Central Texas
It is hardy ag:Cinst old. but diocs nit sprcadl in this dry section, barely holding
its own against our long ilrought-.
George Echols, Longview, Gregg Cuty, Northeastern Texas:
Z%. 1141111C_ .
Bernmula thrives oni dry -soil soutl of "', It I'riiltirSc n ct lltivation, stands
droughts well, and aItlortls green lia.ttiirv ciiglit r ,ontths ili tih year. It will stand
three months under water and not kill oult.
Whittihell Moore, Woodland, Ited River County, Northeastein Texas:
Bermuda -,tands d,.roughlts well. is a goo'l fi-rtilizer, grows well fromn fifteen to twenty
years flro'i one pllant iii.., then only needs Iplowini in spring to renew it. It is toler-
ally easily sutlnludlb 1I\" allow truinu, iu vearlv winter, so that it will freeze. It
yields heavy tcrps i1 iay lraml can le n moved three times a yVar. It is the finest grass
I have ever seen tor sin nmer grazing, andl when inclosed frotu stock during the slim-
mier it is tine winter grazing. It will stop wa-hing andti cause low wet laud to fill up
and become dry.
E. W. Jones, Bltelia Vista, Miss.:
Berntiuda has ibeen a great tie'rror to l litncrs nlitil recently. I 1' plowe d shallow late
in the fall, and allowed t< freeze dllIg 'witliter, Il(cre is no to'troblel to (:ultivatu a crop
the next seasonI. The g'rot1d eco'm'1d 'h jcrfi l'cy ntiellow', and.l though the grass is not
dleadl, it does bilt. little injury to tihe ero|>.
Dr. B. H. Brodnax, Brodiiax, Moreliouise Parish, Louisiana:
There are no cultivated grasses in this pa risli. lhritituda, \\ Nliit was a fasliioitnable
craze thirty years ago, has iiiiied bCeve'ral l tiHe latest and largeItst plantati(,ons in
the parish, rendering tlhiemin unit for cultivation. This is I lie only attempt at the
cultivation of grasses here that I know of.
G. A. Friersoii, Frierson's Mill, De Soto Parish, Louisiana:
In liy opinion til, is the nsit, valuable grass in the world, either for pasture or
meadow, and the Sonthernt stock-raiser has little need of any other ifli he understand
how to use Ilihis.
S. \V. Sylvester, Washington, Saint Landry Parish, Louisiania:
Bermuda Grass is largely cultivated here. It is scarcely at'lfcted by a drotiught of
three weeks, and anything less than that does ntot afet'ect it at all. It will grow on.
any soil, but is best suited to s Lndy lmnt.
I have a pasture of 8 acres on clay soil, two-thirds of which is set in Bermnuda, and
from March to December I keep n)pon it front 10 to 12 calves, 7 to 10 hogs, several
ponies, aud now aud then froin :3 to 5 stetr- and hcifers in addition. It is the best
pasture plant I know of. Land set in Bermuda for pasture should be thoroughly
plowed, harrowed, and rolled once in live years. An ordinary yield of hay is 1- tons
per acre in a season. Bermuda is very dilticult to subdue, but Cai be destroyed by
close cultivation during several years.
E. Taylor, Pope's Ferry, Ga.: #
Nothing kills it except severe freezing. It is the best of all grasses, and thrives on
any soil, but best on clay. It fitruishlies gtoodl pasture from May until the middle of
November. For winter grazing Bur Clover is taking its place. The yield of hay is
about 2 tons per acre. It will reclaim the poorest lauds, and is not very difficult to
subdue. It ripens seeds in this State sparingly.
R. J. Redding, Atlantita, Ga.:
Introduced here fromn Bermuda more than fifty years ago. Many fields in Middle
Georgia are overrun with it. It was long considered a troublesome grass, because of
its spreading propensity and the ditliculty of eradicating it; but farmers are now
learning to appreciate its value. It will root out most other grasses (not Japan clover,
however). It is tle best summer grasswe have; is half hardy against cold, bnt makes
no growth in winter, the surface and underground stems remaining alive and putting
out in March. It is liable to we killed out in the extreme northern part of Georgia by
very hard freezes. It nev'tr produces seed in this State, or only occasionally a head,
but does well from imported seed.
J. B. WAade, Edgewood, De Kalb County, Northern Georgia:
This is about their most iorthein limit at which Bermuda Grass grows in this State.
It is beginning to be highly applrciated both for grazing and for hay. It stands
drought well, keeping green froin May until Novemtiber. It makes good hay, and can
be cut two or three times a year, pIoducing on an average 21 tons of hay per acre.
While this is the most, northern limit of Bermuda Grass, it is also the most southern
limit of Blue Grass. Thie two growing togcetheron the same land produce most per-
fect pasture, as tlioe Blue Grass is green nearly all the fall, winter, and spring months,
while during the heat of sumimier, which prevents the growth of the Blue Grass, the
Bermuda flourishes. The two together in good strong soil make a perfect pasture,
good all the year round.
Mrs. J. A. Blanchard, Umatilla, Orange County, Central Florida:
Bermuda Grass makes. a lperwallelit pasture after it is once rooted. A close sod
can be made in two or three months for yard or lawn by setting plants 10 or 12 inches
apart each way ini th prillg. It bh.r.s tlie lawn-mower well. growing under repeated
cuttinllgs like a l1it-c o(f green plish. It requires constant care, however, to keep its
roots Iroin grlowihg outzile- of its alplminted bounds, and it is injurious if grown
where trues or A-hrubs are cultivated.
Jamnes C. Neal. M. D., A7rcher, Alachua Coun ty, Northern Florida:
It isabout the only lawn grass we have, but is easily killed by heat in pine or sandy
lands, and the leaves are killed by co>ld anywhere. It is best grown on clay lands,
but uile-s fertilized it grows slowly and is of little value.
J. 31. MeBryde, professor of Botany. Agricultural and Mechanical
College, Columbia, S. C.:
1Brrut lda G(ra-,s has ben/. known here fromu the beginning of the century. It is
widely distributed, aud is ,being more alnd more cultivated. It covers barren fields
and hillsidl.-, does weull in all .soils. and grows luxuriantly in dry weather. On allu-
vial .oil-, it afifdl, heivy yields of excellent hay, producing 4 tons during the season
at two orthrue cuutilgs. On high lands it grows short, but furnishes good pasturage.
It is reported to ripeu .eed in Snuth-rn U(vorgia. I have tested this seed in wet sand,
blotting .ipper. lrpritiL n. alialmralitus. &.. and iund its vitality very low, not 10 per
cent. eri'illiutiatinL. 'Ifr.le I believe thie seeds to mature imperfectly in our section.
Daniel Griswold, Westminister, Los Angeles County, California:
Bermuda Gras rilpens -ee, here, but I would not undertake to gather it for $5 a
pound. It docs n,1t grow 1i1oreu than 5 or 6 inches high. It has three prongs on the
top. with six or eight ver0 sz.ll seetis oin a jprong, and the seeds fall before you hardly
know theyIv are rile. Wel propagate it by dividing the roots. It is not much raised
here; would do better where it rains in sumnimer.
W. A. Sanders, Sanders, Fresno County, Central California:
Bermuda Gras is excellent, but usually not very productive. It is good for ponds
that dry up in autumn, where it leaves a massive growth for feed.
Prof. Maircus E. Jones, Salt Lake City, Utah:
It is cultivated here to a small extent, and withstands cold, but not our droughts
very well. It prefers loam, but will grow in sandy soil.
Prof. S. 31. Tracy, Agricultural College, Columbia, Mo.:
It has beten in cultivation near Saint Louis, in one locality only, for many years.
It barely survives the winter and would doubtless be destroyed by pasturing. I have
noticed it very carr-fully about New Orleans. where it is by far the most valuable per-
imaieLut pasture gra>s, and is thoroughly naturalized if not a native. It is almost the
only ,rabs grown there for winter pasture or for lawns. It stands drought well and
grows anywhere except ou very wet ground. It can be subdued by one year of thor-
Prof. W. J. Beal, Agricultural College, 3Michigan:
It more than holds irs own hero, but starts very late. It is possibly worth an ex-
Prof. J. B. Killebrew, in "The Grasses of Tennessee," says:
Occa-ionally the traveler meets with patches of Bermuda Grass in the cotton fields
of the South, where it is carefully avoided by the planter, any disturbance giving
new start to its vigorous roots. Some ditch around it, others inclose it and letshrub-
bery do the work of de-triution. It forxtis a sward so tough that it is almost im-
possible for a plow to pass through it. It will throw ils runnersover a rock six feet
across and hide it front view, or it. will rin down the sides of tlhe deepest gully and
stop its washing. It dues not, however, endure shade, and ill order'to obtain a good
stand, the weeds must be mown from it the tirst year. It. would be a good grass to
mis with Blue Grass, as when it disal)pears ill winter thie Blue (Girass and White Clover
would spring utip to keep the ground in a constant state (if verdue'. This experimicent
has been tried with eminent success. It, grows luxuriantly on the top of Imokoit
Mountain, having been set there many years ago. lThis mountain is 2,'2(JU feet high,
and has, of course, excessively cold winters.
Mr. Affleck. in a letter published in the. work above mentioned,
The time is not far distant when all tlic rough feed colnsulmred on pla1 tations will
be made of this grass, and when tlie planter will consider his hay crop of linore im-
porlance, than his sugar or cotton. No ol her grass w ill Ni.lql such an a1imn1it of
valuable hay, skirpass it in nutritious qi ( litiis, or support. oil ao l r11 of pastIure si Ih
an amount of stock. Its extirpation, however, when oince established, is ;almost imr-
possble, thoughli to check or weaken it so far as to grow a gra i or (cot ton crop is 4 a.sy
enough. To do this, pursue the courslit of tlhe Iiest farmers of' Kentucky in tIheir
management of Blue-grass sod: WVith a good brea;tking plow, having a welicl and
coulter, and a stout team, turn ove-r evenly andt nicely a sodl .1 inches thick and as
wide as the plow and horses are capable of, follow ii- in iLe ,ame Iuirow with an
other plow, which casts the dirt well, nrind throws out as much of the freh.l earth on
top of the sod as possible, or the depth of tlhe soil will admit. The crop that followscan
be easily tended without disturbing lthe sod, the gradual decay of which will greatly
benefit the crop. The crop should be a shading one ift possible, such as corn, or peas,
or pumpkins, or winter oats followed by peas. To the careful, judicious rfiaer, who
wishes to improve his land and his stock,sand who does not expect to grow anything
without trouble, and who uses good plows and keeps a stout teann, and that in pminm
order, we earnestly recommend to try an acre o(f this gr'iss in a situation where it
cannot readily spread. To the careless farmer we say, touch it not.
In addition, the following brief points are given from various replies,
showing the appreciation in which this grass is held. The State is in-
serted when material to the evidence:
"Not wanted" (California); "Not good for calves;" "Too late in
spring" (Texas); "Best on sandy bottoms" (Mississippi); "Killed by
shade;" "Best on uplands" (Arkansas); "Seeds here" (California);
"Only effigies of seed" (Georgia); "Best grass in the world but regarded
as a curse" (Alabama); "Little here outside of towns" (Texas); "Of
no use" (Illinois); "Common in damp places" (California); "Too long
to get a start;" h Especially good for sheep; "Total failuhire" (Kansas);
"Tried it, but failed," (New Mexico); "Our only summer pasture"
(Texas); Our greatest blessing (Louisiana): "Our seed comes from
Cuba,;" "Prejudice giving way;" "Growing in favor;" "Don't do well"
(Calitbfornia); Known only in one locality" (Connecticut); "A humbug
except in bottom lands" (Florida); Red-clay uplands best" (North
Carolina); Best on light soils" (Virginia); Largely cut for hay on the
coast" (Georgia); Have planted 400 acres of it" (Louisiana); Called
wire-grass ; " Stops washes ;" Our best pasture" (Virginia) ; "The
more it is plowed the more it spreads."
TEXAS BLUE GRASS, Poa arachniwcra, PI. Xi.
This grass was first described by Dr. John Torrey, in the report of
Captain Marcy's exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, as having
been found in 1852 onil the headwaters of the Trinity in Northern Texas,
and named Poa arachnijfera from the profusion of webby hairs growing
about the flowers. This feature is variable, however, l)robablydepend-
ing somewhat on the amount of shade or exposure to which the grass
is subject. The seeds, besides being very small, are especially difficult
to Sow from their clinging together by means of this lint or covering of
webby hairs. There lhas been considerable complaint of the failure of
the seed to grow, though some have grown it successfully. The grass
is propagated with less care by means of the sets or fragments of the
subterranean stems, and so long as the seed remains at its present high
price this will often be found the most satisfactory way of getting a
start. The time and methods of planting the seeds and sets are given
in the subjoined extracts from correspondents.
Texas Blue Grass, though still but little known, promises to become
the best winter grass throughout tihe South, wherever there is good soil
and a fair degree of rainfall. It has been too little tried at the North
for any satisfactory estimate to be formed of its value there. In Kan-
sas it has been grown successfully for several years. A plat of it
planted on the grounds of the Department last spring has stood the
winter and is now (March 1) about 3 inches high, and looking- as well
as any of the grasses on trial. The plat was grown from the sets.
Seeds sown at tihe same time failed to grow. Small quantities of the
seed will be sent out for trial this season from the Department. Several
parties in Texas and Alabama have seeds and sets for sale, but they
have not yet become general articles of trade.
W. C. Lipscomb, Crockett, Tex.:
Texas Blue Grass is cultivated here on a limited and mostly experimen.tl .1scale.
It has proved to be hardy, and to stand drought exceptionally well. It prefers ele-
vated, rich sandy soil. Tlie only obstacle I see in the way of its propagation is the
diflicuilty of sowing the seeds, which cling together, owing to a lint surrounding them.
Any invention or process overcoming this difficulty would be of' great value to us in
the fut u re.
James Perry, Whitesborough, Northeastern Texas:
It seems to have sprung ulp hlierc in the last few years by chance, and is being propa-
gated as fast, as seed can lie I indl. It furnishes good early grazing, but is of no value
after July, though it eoites from the root again when the fall rains set in. I have
had it on the same ground fori ten years. It is about as easily subdued by cultivation
l-,yer-s yc ivt.
as Keintucky Blue Grass.
S. W. Weaver, Simpson, Shelby County, Eastern Texas:
I have had four years' experience with the Texas Blue Grass. The older the sod
the thicker and better it is. It is almost worthless until about the fourth year. The
people are taking hold of it here in good earnest.
I Tdv .
George II. IIHogan, (of' 'nnis, Tex., whlo first suggested thle name
Texas Blue Grass, ynae aV( a.ie) ccotnlit 4f it ill thie report for 1881-82,
an(d now a,(ldds
Of all the grasses iidigenoiis to i)ir c(iiti'ry Ith' I'ni era'nhi/
vinced of its merits. I consider it bIetter t1lin1.' I' irlarisi.s (lKenttiieky Blue GCrass)
for any locality.
C. B. Richardson, IIe ndersoli, lusk ('County, Texas, gives an account
of this grass in the Agricultural eporlt tFor 18S1-'S2, a-ni[ in a letter to
the Commissioner, )Decenmber 23, 1885, adds:
The seeds are very light mnil troillesomi i to plant. Plant tlhei'n about, the l0th of
February, :as you wonl lt.bvts or fine garildvi v'eget:tble steids, ili rows about 20 inches
apart, and keep down\v ti weeds :indl grass tie i'irst sumnier. 'I'l' next fall and win-
ter the plants will m t et in tlie rows :andI occupy tlie whole glrou1d. I pr'fi'r, low-
ever, to prolpagate from sets. Plant tliem, in tlin, fall or :any ti, in up to February 20.
First plow le gron l, in then wilh : a narrow sl)vel lay ott' I i' e roms 2 feet apart, and
plant tlhe sets 10 inclies apart i tle row, ao s , dpo, cabbagel plants or sweet potato
slips. The seeds blow away quickly al'tr gttil- ritipe, and are difli'ult to g:atlhier
without wasting. rTlly h ave to )he stiplied it roml tie stems lby land.
Prof. E. MI. Shelton, Manhattan, Kans.. in the I (dustrialist of Jan-
uary 22, 1887:
Texas Blue (.rass, in color and leaf, resembles its near relative Kentucky Blue Grass,
but is of greatly more rolust and v( rigorous habit. Its blades are muiIf wider and
longer Iltan those of Kent uvikiy I~Ii., Grass, and it seems to possess minuch more vitality.
At, this writing, January 2(), whlhen all of omr other varieties of tamne grass's and clovers
are perfectly sere and lifeless, 'xas1m Blue Grass is frill of green shoots, while the base
of nearly every blade is of t lie samne lively color.
Texas Blue Grass has otherqttalities, however, which make it especially valuable to
Kansas. I am confident that our longest, driest and liottest summer cannot injure
it, and the fact that it has passed tiuninjured throughli the last three winters is a suffi-
cient answer to the question ot its capacity for withstanding cold weather.
Moreover, this grass makes nearly or inite as lir inand consistent a scd( as the com-
mon Blue Grass, from which its siitableness f(,r lawns imahy be inferred.
Herbert Post, Selma, Ala., January, 1885:
This remarkable winter grass, wlile it hIas been known for many years in Texas,
has only been propagated here for two or three years. It goe's to seed here usually by
the middle of April. It promises to Ieco.,e as valsiable for winter grazing as Ken-
tucky Blue Grass is for summer. Its roots plinctr.te (iotr or fivev times asdeep as the
Kentucky Blue Grass, and being perennial, wln once evstalbli-lid it lasts indefinitely,
but. can be as readily exterminateil as any grass.
Dr. Charles Mohr, Mobile, Ala.:
Within the last two years this grass lhas been introilduced into thiis section, and cul-
tivated by a few farmers oi a small scale. It lits proved perfectly hardy during the
last and the present winter, without receiving lthe slightest injury by frost, keeping
fresh and green, amlnd continuing its growth ithri-lughout t.lie wintier season. It ripens
its seed herein June, after which tlIe stems and foliage' wvitier and dry up. From
June until the close of the hot montlis 4)t'siminier its v'g,'tation slumbers. With the
beginning of the. cooler season, tine roots t hrow 4n t new, shoots, and the foliage begins
to grow vigorously. Thle, period of rest duringg lthe. hottest part. of the season insure.
a perfect immunity frml'n the effects of drolghlit. Tlie plant is prolmaated by its
stolons, and after the second season f lor s a perfectly compact tinrf. It seems to re-
quire a rich, loamy, somewihat caleareo-is, soil.
Carlos Reese, sr., Marion, Ala.:
I have grown Texas Blue Grass for six years. It will grow on any fertile soil from
sand to clay. It will stand the greatest drought and. any degree of cold without in-
jury. It is the first grass I have had that I could recominmend as a winner grass
that would not d(lie out in summer. The seed should heI planted as you would orchard
or Kentucky Blue Grass, and at any time in the faill or spring that would do to sow
either of thse grasses. From early fall until the lirst of May will do to plant the
sets; I prefer, however, to plant both seeds and sets early in the fall, as-then they
have fhlly six months to grow and get ahead of other vegetation.
Jolhn A. Cobb, in Georgia Farmer:
Experiment made in Georgia and Alabama she w that it is well adapted to this sec-
tion. December 1, 1.4-1, I planted Te.xas flne( Grass, one set in a place, 8 inches by 1
foot, on a strip of ground 12 lby 101.) 0 feet. May, 1l5, I saved seed enough from it to
sow 1 lacre. The graiss had formed a riat, over the entire space. December, 1885, 1
took ipl) the roots from all except a piece 1"2 by 15 feet, and with them set out over an
acre. Iln My. 1IS.,. I gathered seed enough to sow between 15 and 20 acres. The
land was well fertilized, and would make at least one bale of cotton per acre. On
thinner laind tlI' increase of course wolil Ibe slower. The seed ripens in May, and as
the principal growth is from the first fall rains until May, the seed or sets should be
put iin as soon after September 1 as possible.
WV. P. Iorne, in Florida Agriculturist:
Aft-r giving this grass a fair trial for two years, I am ready to say that Texas Blue
Grass is a perfect success in Blaker County as a grass for grazing purposes in the win-
ter months; but, it will not do so well forin making hay, as it does not grow tall enough
for mnowing. I have a lot 40 or 50 yards square, and have kept two calves and one
colt on it most of the winter. Whenever they have eaten it( down I have taken
them out for a few days and then turned them in again. They have eaten it down
five or six times during the winter, a'td in a week's time it has grown up 4 or 5 inches
high. It does not grow much during summer, but nothing will choke it out if the
land is rich, :aind in the fall it will conime up) and make theli best of winter pasture.
RESCUE GRASS. Bromus unioloildcs, P1. XII.
This grass has also been known as Bromus Schraderi, Bromus WTill-
denocii, ('eratoch loa n unioloides, Festuca .unioloide., Schrader's Brome
Grass, Australian Oats, Australian Prairie Grass, &c.
It is an annual, winter grass, native of North and South America,
and better known in Texas than any other part of the United States.
It was early introduced into Australia, from whence it has been brought
to England and the United States under the name of Australian oats
and Australian prairie rrass. It is closely related to chess (Bronus
secalinus), but as it is only adapted to mild climates, where it makes its
growth during the cool portion of the year, it is not likely to become
troublesome in grain. It produces a large amount of foliage, which
though not of the best quality, is eaten readily by stock in the absence
of other green feed. If sown in thle fall, at a favorable time for ger-
inination, it will furnish pasture during winter and spring. It ripens
its seed iln May ilI most of tile region from Texas to the Carolinas. It
seems to witlhstand drought fairly well, but escapes the worst period of
summer drouglht by ripening early in tlhe season. A fall or winter
drought, however, is liable to prevent the sveel from ogermininating. The
seed is sold in the markets, but only a few ftrminers cultivate it, though
it is generally spoken of favorably by those in the South who have
Leonard A. Hiel, San Antonio, Texas:
Anl annual self seeding grass, that is spontaneous, and '.:preadiing rapidly in this sec-
tion, but is not. to be depended on as a winter feed, owing to th le iviertainty of our
seasons. Last fall and the fall before it was dry here, and ii not aspear of thisgrass grew
until late in the winter. At this date, January 141, no Rescue ( hra.. hs a et apI'pared,
but as soon as there is rani it will spring up all over the coi it ry and flourish until
May. After dropping its seed it disappears until the fall or winter rains call it again
into life. It is considered quite nutritious, but stock are not very fond of it, as it is
somewhat bitter, but they eat it for the lack of other food. It is a persistent .seder,
and will floui ish in the densest Bermuda Grass sod, disapLpea'ring, and in no way inter-
fering, when that grass begins to grow.
William F. Gill, Kerrville, Kerr County, Central Texas:
It is a native here, not cultivated, as it copies without cultivation. It is hardy,
anud being a winter grass is not affected by drought, except that in a dry fall it does
not germinate. It will grow anywhere. I do not know its yield of hay, but about
the same as a good stand of oats. It does not interfere with cultivation. It is an
annual, but may be depended on to reseed itself. I have seen it around and in the
corrals at my ranch form a seed-pod when there would be only a blade or two of
grass, and the dirt would have to be scraped away to see the seed-spike; and again,
when not pastured or tramped down, I have seen its culmns two feet high.
James A. Stevens, Burnett, Burnett County, Centrial Texas:
Grown to some extent, and valued as a good sprintr grass, but easily killed by
drought. It is also used for ornamenting yards. Stock delight to eat it, it ieiing suc-
cuil'nt and tender. It grows here a foot or more high, but dies out on the approach
Henry B. Richards, La Grange, Fayette County, Central Texas:
A grass called by this namie comes up in our fields and pastures in November, grows
all winter, stools ouit like oats, and where not pastured after March ripens its seed the
last of April or the first of May. It is a perfect God-senid to us here for a winter and
early spring pasture. I do not know of any one ever having ga lthered the seed and
attempted its cultivation.
C. W. Dame, Fort Worth, Tar'ant County, Northern Texas:
Brom i t. uniolnid.s is regarded very favorably as a spring grass. Soon after the cold
weather disappears a dense growth of it covers the prairies everywhere within a mile
or two of the city, and is ready for grazing before any other grass. It dies in May,
and it is said that if the season be favorable, it will start up again in the fall and
afford graziug during the winter. Acordingto my experience not iinh grass retains
its verdure here during the cold season. The growth of this grass is confined to the
vicinity of towns anId old settlements.
Professor Pliares, of thlie Mississippi Agricultural College, says of this
It is an annual winter grass, but varies in the time of sta rfing into growth. Have
seen it ready for mowing tlhe first of October and fuirnislh frequent cuttings until
April. Again, it inay not start until January, nor be ready to cut until February.
The time of starting depends upon the moisture and depression of temperature of the
fall, the seeds germinating only at a low temperature. When once started its growth
20265-No. 3 - 3
after the successive cuttings or grazing is very rapid. It is tender, very sweet, and
stock eat it greedily. It produces an immense quantity of leaves and makes good
hay. On loose soil some of it may be pulled up by animals grazing upon it.
JI. B. Darthit, Denver, S. C.:
This is an excellent grass for an early spring pasture, coming in during February
and lasting until May. It can be grazed until the 10th or 15th of April, and will
then reseed itself, the seed ripening in May. The land may then be planted in any
summer crop, and the next spring the Rescue Grass will be there again.
Prof. J. M. McBryde, Agricultural and Mechanical College, Columbia,
Bromu.t iinioloides is widely established here, growing abundantly along roadsides
and fence-rows, and cultivated to some extent. It is remarkable for its earliness. I
have noticed it, fully headed out early in March. It matures so early as to be out of
the reach of droughts. It prefers strong soils and attains only a moderate growth in
our sands. It is valuable for early pasture; no yields of hay are reported. Stock do
not relish it when old. It can be easily subdued.
M. J. Sutton, of England, in his valuable work on "Permanent and
Temporary Pastures," says:
It is not strictly perennial, and there is a prejudice against it because of the harsh-
ness of its foliage ; still, it is a valuable forage plant. From the sweetness of its taste
and the readiness with which it is eaten by stock, there can be little doubt that it is
highly nutritious. It is one of the earliest grasses to start in a temporary pasture
and I strongly urge its inclusion in mixtures for two or three years' lay, which are
mainly to be fed off. In warm moist seasons, especially, its usefulness will be mani-
fested. It grows so strong as to crowd out weeds. It feeds on the surface and will
thrive on the thinnest soil. It has not been sufficiently cultivated iu Englard.
Mr. William Saunders, superintendent of the gardens and grounds of
the Department of Agriculture, in his Report for 1869, page 99, said:
This plant has lately been brought into promiueut notice on the continentof Europe
andinGreat Britain as likely to supersede the Italian Rye Grass forsoiling and for irri-
gated mnieadows. Although it produces a great amount of foliage it is neither so
early nor so flue as the Rye Grass. The seeds are nearly as large as oats and yield
heavily, but the ripening of the seeds entirely stops the growth until the stems are
cut. Frequent.i mowing or constant grazing is necessary to reapl) the best results from
this species. When young all kinds of stock eat it freely.
OTHER FORAGE PLANTS.
ALFILARIA, Erodinim eiu'utrim, PI. XIII.
This annual, supposed to have been introduced from Europe, does
not seem to be mentioned in any work on forage i)plants. It occurs
abundantly, and is of much value for pasture, over a large extent of
territory in Northern Calilfornia and adjoining regions. Elsewhere in
the United States it is sparingly introduced and usually regarded only
as a weed, though it is not very troublesome. Besides the above name
it is known as Storksbill, Pin-clover, Pin-grass, and Filaree. It is
neither a grass nor a clover, but belongs to the Geranium family. It
.., -- '
starts very early, grows rapidly, furnishing good early pasture, and
ripens seed before the hottest weather. It is of little value as hay, and
is not worth introducing where the ordinary forage plants can be grown.
The seed is seldom sown, but the plant comes spontaneously each year
from self-sown seed. A few have begun its artificial propagation, and
it is undoubtedly worthy of introduction into other regions in the South
and West having prolonged droughts. It is hardy at the North, but
makes a much smaller growth there.
Brewer and Watson, in The 'Botany of California, say in regard to it:
Very common throughout the State, extending to British Columbia, New Mexico,
and Mexico; also widely distributed in South America and the Eastern Continent.
It has generally been considered an introduced species, but it is more decidedly and
widely at home throughout the interior than any other introduced plant, and accord-
ing to much testimony it was as common throughout CaliforniaL early in the present
century as now. It is pol)pularly known as Alfilaria, or less commonly as Pin,-clover
and Pin-grass, and is a valuable and nutritious forage plant, reputed to impart an ex-
cellent flavor to milk and butter.
Prof. E. W. Hilgard, in an article on the Agriculture and Soils of Cali-
fornia, in the Report of the Department of Agriculture for 1878. page
Two species of Cranes'-bill (Erodinun icintarinum and in moschatum) are even more com-
mon here than in Southern Europe, and the first named is esteemed as one of the most
important natural pasture plants, being about the only green thing available to stock
throughout the dry season, and eagerly cropped by them at all times. Its Spanish
name of Alfilerilla (signifying apin, and now frequently translated into "pin-weed")
shows that it is an old ci izen, even if possibly a naturalized one.
Otanes F. Wright, Temescal, San Bernardino County, California:
Alfilaria grows plentifully and is native here. It is the best grass that we have
during the wet season while green, but does not amount to much when dry, for
it shrinks much in drying, and when dry breaks easily into very tine bits, almost to
Alfilaria and Bur-clover nearly always grow together on the same land; cold
weather never kills either of them. Stock pick for the Altilaria while growing (from
January to June); but after it dies they hunt for the clover burs which are on the
ground, and in their efforts to get the burs they roll the old dry stems into rolls some-
times as big as winrows of hay.
Bur-clover and Filaria (Alfilaria) grow on high land, and die when dry weather
comes. I do not know but they might Te kept green all the year if kept wt.
They are about the only plants which grow on the high land that stock will eat.
Our need is a grass that will grow on the high laud all the year as Alfalfa does on
the low lauds. As nine-tenths of our land is dry land, you can see the extent of our
Daniel Griswold, Westminster, Los Angeles County, California:
I think Allilaria would be a good thing to raise in the Southern States, but it will
be a rather hard seed to gather, though not so hard as Bermuda grass. It produces a
small-jointed seed, with a beard or curl attached. Butte or Colusa County would be
the best place to obtain the seed. The plant is native here. It is never cultivated,
but comes up of itself whenever there is rain enough. It grows everywhere (except
in swamps), in damp land, on the driest land, and on the tops of hills up to the snow-
It has a root that runs straight downward, and it has to be very dry to prevent it
making seed. On damp rich land it grows large enough to make a good swath of hay.
Onil poor or dry land it is small and diies up, but even in its dry state stock eat it clean
and are very fond of it.
C. R. Orcutt, San Diego, Cal.:
Erodium ciculariumni and Erodiunm no8schatum (about equally used), grow abundantly
in Southern California and through Northern Lower California, sometimes attaining
a height of 2 feet or more. They grow on dry lands, but only in wet years, or where
there is abundant rainfall do they attain any size.
0. F. Thornton, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona:
It is not cultivated, but is rapidly spreading on the dry ranges (i. e., valleys and
mountain sides), and is one of the very best wild grasses eitherr green or dry.
J. C. Tiffany, San Marcial, Socorro County, New Mexico:
There is very little in this county ; what there is here has been brought in the wo8l
of sheep from California. It grows well on uplands or low, anud is spreading rapidly.
It is excellent feed-one of the very best. I am trying to get a- large quantity of the
seed to sow on my ranges. Can you inform me how it may be obtained? I would
scatter it in localities over 20,000 acres if I could get the seed at a reasonable cost.
Dr. A. Gattinger, Nashville, Tenn.:
It is not known here, but I have seen it in Germany. It is a vile weed, and ought
not to be introduced into cultivation. I cannot understand how such a thivg can be
seriously spoken of when so many really good native plants arc totaY.y ignored.
ALFALFA, Medicago saiira, P1. XIV.
This plant is called Lucerne, Medi ck, Spanish Trefoil, French Clover
Brazilian Clover, and Chilian Clover. It is not a true Clover, though
belonging to the same natural family as the clovers. Alfalfa, the name
by which it is commonly known in this country, is the Spanish name,
which came into use here from the fact that the plant was introduced
into cultivation in California from South America under tlhe name of Al-
falfa or Brazilian Clover. The plant had previously been introduced
into the Eastern' and Southern States, but attracted little attention
until its remarkable success in California. In Europe it is generally
known as Lucerne, probably from tlhe canton of Lucerne, in Switzer-
land, where it was largely cultivated at an early day. It has been
known in cultivation from very ancient times, and was introduced from
Western Asia into Greece about 500 B. C. It is now largely grown in
Southern France, and to a considerable extent in other parts of Europe.
It has been introduced into several of the countries of South America,
and on the pampas of Buenos Ayres it hIas escapl)ed from cultivation and
grows extensively in a wild state. Though known for a long time in
the United States, Alfalfa is not yet cultivated to the extent that it
In the Southern States east of the Mississippi it is especially desir-
able that its merits should be better known. The climate of that sec-
tion is nearly as favorable to its growth as that of Southern California,
but much of its soil less suitable, hence reports from different localities
vary somewhat as to its value.
Alfalfa is less hardy than red clover and is adapted to a milder cli-
mate; still it has stood the winters safely as far north as Vermiont, New
York, and Michigan, though farther west, where less protected by snow,
it winter-kills more or less even as far south as Texas. The young
plants are very susceptible to frost, and the mature plants, if not killed
by the cold winters of the Northern States, are so weakened that they
endure there for a much shorter period than in milder cliimates. A cold
of 25 degrees is said to kill the tops, but in the Southern States the plant
quickly recovers from the effect of frost and grows most of the winter.
In the Northern States, even where it endures the winter, the yield is
so much less than at the South, that it has little or no advantage over
the common red clover. Farther south, however, even where both may
be grown, Alfalfa is often preferred, not only for its larger yield, but
also for its perennial character. Alfalfa is especially adapted to dry
climates, and withstands drought much better than the ordinary clovers.
Although Alfalfa impl)roves the fertility of the soil it must have a rich
soil to start with, and it therefore is of little value as a renovator of
worn-out lands. It prefers sandy soils, if fertile. The failure on sandy
soils in the East and South has been mainly due to the lack of fertility
to give the young plants a good start and enable them to become deeply
rooted before the advent of drought. On this account it usually thrives
best on rich bottom lands. Lands that are tenacious and hold water
are not adapted to its culture unless well drained. Most of the lands
in the West upon which it is grown successfully have a permeable sub-
soil. When the soil permits, its roots penetrate to a great depth.
Cases have frequently been observed of their reaching a depth of 12
or 15 feet, and depths of more than 20 feet have been reported. Hence,
after the plant is established, the character of the subsoil is of more
importance than that of the surface.
Sow at any time that the ground is in suitable condition, and when
there will be time for the plants to become well established before they
are subjected either to drought or extreme cold. In the Northern States
the month of May will be about the right time. Farther south, in the
latitude of Northern Mississil)ppi, September is probably the best month,
and in the extreme South, or in the warm valleys of California, any time
will answer from fall until spring. The soil should be thoroughly pre-
pared, and the seed sown at the rate of 15 to 20 pounds to the acre. If
sown broadcast, about the latter quantity will be required; if in drills,
the former amount will be sufficient. If the raising of seed is the main
object, 12 or 14 pounds to the acre will give the best results, as the plants
will be more vigorous and yield more seed, though they will be coarser
and less desirable for feed.
Drill-culture gives the best results, especially if the soil be dry or
weedy. The drills may be 12 to 18 inches apart, according to the tool
to be employed in cultivation. The seed if sown broadcast may be
sown alone or with grain, but it generally gives the best results when
sown alone. It is often sown with oats with good results, but in a wet
season it is liable to be smothered out unless the grain is sown quite
thin. After the first year the harrow may be employed to advantage,
and even a narrow plow, of such form as will not cut the roots too se-
verely, is sometimes used with good effect, especially where the planting
is in rows. In all cases where weeds are inclined to appear it is desir-
able to give some kind of cultivation every year. This is not so impor-
tant where the plant is irrigated as elsewhere. In much of the country
reaching from Texas to the Pacific, irrigation is only essential the first
year, or until the roots have penetrated deeply into the soil, though the
crop is greatly increased by an abundant supply of moisture at all times
In parts of California and adjoining States Alfalfa is grown only by
irrigation, and this must sometimes be resorted to, even when not es-
sential for the growth of the crop, in order to kill the gophers, which
are liable to destroy the plants, by eating off the roots a few inches
below the surface. Immediate irrigation will also prevent many of the
plants so eaten off from dying.
AlIalfa should be neither mowed nor pastured until it has made a
considerable growth and becomes wveil established.
HARVESTING, FEEDING, ETC.
Alfalfa is perhaps best known in most localities as a soiling plant.
For this purpose it has scarcely a superior. It may be cut repeatedly
during the season, furnishing a large amount of nutritious forage. which
is relished by all kinds of stock. It is said to be less liable than clover
to cause slobbers in horses. There is some danger, however, especially
to cattle, in feeding it while wet or very succulent, of its causing bloat
or hoven. On this account it is a good plan to feed it in the green state
in connection with straw or hay, or to let it lie several hours to become
partially wilted before being fed.
It is when used as pasture that the greatest danger occurs in the use
of Alfalfa. Many have used it for years, both tfor soiling and as pas-
ture, without any injurious results, but numerous instances have been
reported where cattle have bloated and died from eating too freely of
it when succulent or wet. In some instances cattle have been kept
upon it from the time it started in spring until June or July, with no
evil results, and then, when the growth has become very rank, or been
w.vet with dew or rain, they have been taken with bloat. The danger is
greater, as is well known, when cattle are suddenly turned into a rank
growth and allowed to eat all they will. If cattle are hungry, or have
not been accustomed to green food, they should not be allowed in such
a pasture more than half or three.-quarters of an hour. In the dry
regions of tlhe West there is less danger in the use of Alfalfia for pas-
ture than elsewhere, and it is largely used there for that purpose, espe-
cially in the fall after a crop or two of hay lhas been cut. There is con-
siderable danger, however, of the plant becoming killed out by close or
continued pasturing, as it does not stand grazing as well as tlhe ordi-
nary grasses and clovers. For hay, the cutting should be done as soon
as the blossoms appear, otherwise it becomes hard and woody. Con-
siderable care is required to cure it properly, and prevent the loss of
the leaves in drying. The yield is so large, and the plant so succulent
at the time that it must be cut, that unless there is good weather, it is
difficult to cure; on this account it is used less for hay, except in dry
climates, than it otherwise would be. The increase in the cultivation
of Alfalfa has created a good demand for the seed, which has thus be-
come one of the most important items of profit in its cultivation. For
cleaning the seeds, F. C. Clark, of Alila, Tulare County, California,
In this part of the State, the ordinarily grain thrasher is used. Some extra screens
are used, and a few changes made in the arrangement of the cylinder and concave
teeth. It is the opinion of some of the experienced Alfalfa thrashers, that a machine
comIining the hulling process, and some of the machinery of the ordinary thrasher
would do better work.
The seed is usually taken from the second crop, and the yield is greater
than that from red clover, frequently amounting to 10 or more bushels
The following reports are given from persons who have grown Alfalfat
in various parts of the country.
J. R. Page, professor of agriculture, &c., University of Virginia:
I have cultivated Alfalfa for forty years, both in the Tidewater and Piedmont re-
gions of Virginia, and I regard it as the most valuable forage plant the farmer can
cultivate for soiling. It is ready to be mowed by the first of May, and may be cut
three or four times during the season. Grazing kills it out. It should be top-dressed
with manure every fall, and plastered in the spring and after every mowing.
Thomas S. Stadden, Clarke County, Virginia:
Alfalfa is grown here to a limited extent. It does well in favorable localities, but
is hard to get set. It lasts four to six years.
H. C. Parrot, Kinston, N. C.:
Alfalfa is adapted to rich, open soils in all the Southern States. It is excellent feed
either green or cured. It should be sown in drills 18 inches apart and cultivated the
first year. After it is well rooted, it will stand drought well, and crowd everything
else out. It will last from eight to sixteen years, according to soil and location.
J. G. Knapp, United States State statistical agent, Limona, Southern
Many persons in Florida have experimented with this plant, so valuable in other
regions, but nearly all have failed. Sometimes a plant which has conime up in the fall
and survived the winter has bloomed, but no roots have lived through the wet warm
months of summer. I remember that in New Mexico, whenever it was desirable to de-
stroy the Alfalfa, iu order to plow the ground, the surface was covered with water
daily for two weeks during the heat, of summer. Tlie United States consul at Lam-
liyeque, Peru, states (Unlited States Agricultural Report, 1I77, p). 544) that it will
not bear -water, an a itindlaznt irrigation or intu1ndation caunsing speedy death to --he
plant. The result in this country has been tlie saine. Alfalfi, has invariably perished
during the rainy nontls. All the lovers ac affected the same way.
Mr. Klnapp incloses a letter froIn Dr. B. J. Taliaiferro, of Maitland,
Orange County, the only person in his knowledge who has been suc-
cessful in growing Alfalfa in that region. Dr. Taliaferro says:
There is io(, doubt ut that Alfalfa cran be successfully grown in South Florida.
My ol! patch is now twelve nmouthis old, and hi.s been cut five times. I am so well
pleased with it that I have just put iu five acres more. The great difficulty. is getting
i good stand. Ift the ground is not just, right tlie seed will fail. I have failed several
times by sowing when thie sun was too hot or not hot enough, or when the land was
not suffticientlyv iliioi.,t. Fromn my short experience I think September is the bestmonth
in which to plant. It' we plant early in the spring or summer it is almost impossible
to keep the crab-gras fromn taking it.. I sow in drills 16Gor iS inches apart, and wait
for a warm moist day for soing. The plant is very delicate at first, and must be
kept clean front grass and weeds. I shall try a small piece broadcast this fall, but
lo lbt whether ii will prove a siict-.s, as crab-grass. is its greatest enemy in lily por-
tion of Florida. The piece I have growing is on hiigh dry pine land, such as would
be suitalmle finur orange growing. Alfalfa, having a very long tap-root, would not do
on low land. It is very necessary to 1)repare the laud thoroughly. My plan is as
follows: After getting the land clean of all stunmps, rubbish, &c., I plow it deeply
with a two-horse turning-plow, then harrow and hand-rake. Early in spring I put
on a light dressing of cotton-seed inmeal, and sow down in cow-peas broadcast, and
when the vines are in full bearing I turn them under with a three-horse plow, and as
soon thereafter as los.ille' h:trrow deeply, and broadcast again with some good fer-
tilizer (I prefer cotton-seed nmeal, bone meal, and potash), harrowing it in well with
a spring-tooth harrow. It would be well to repeat the harrowing as often as possible
before bowing. About the first, or middle of September hand-rake perfectly smooth,
and put in the seed with a seed-drill, about. six pounds per acre. Keep clean of
weeds and crab-grass, and cut when in bloom. A top-dressing of land plaster after
the first cutting will prove very beneficial. I have experimented with a number of
forage plants, but failed with all except Millo maize until I tried Alfalfa.
J. S. Newman, director Experimeut Station, Auburn, Ala.:
I have had it fourteen years in )rofitable growth from one seeding, and have seen
it in Gordon County, Georgia, twenty-five years old, and still in vigorous and profit-
able growth. If used for hay, it must be cut before it blossoms, or the stems become
too woody. Like other leguminous plants it requires especial care in curing, to pre-
vent the loss of its leaves. It, may be cut from three to five times in one season, ac-
cording to the frequency of rains. It is a mistake to s uppoe that becauseof its
long tap root it is not seriously affected by drought. It thrives well upon all classes
of lauds, if fertile and well drained.
Clarke Lewis, Cliftonville, Miss.:
It grows readily in this State on poor sandy soil, but best on sandy loam. It will
bear cutting year after year without new seeding, if not too heavily grazed. Asa
permanent soiling plant it has no superior. It must be cut early, when first coming
into blossom ; if cut later it becomes woody and makes poor hay. Its introduction
has been confined to a few localities.
Prof. James Troop, La Fayette, Ind.
It is naturalized here. bult little cultivated. It is perfectly hardy on our black
sandy loam, but yields no tiore than timothy or clover. It will not last here more
than three or four years.
Leonard A. Iheil, of the Texas Live Stock Journal, San Antonio,
Alfalfa has blee I ce i ..-'sfiilly rI a isvi iii t Isii l-;I'iait.0 oI lly y b irr'igitioi, which is
practicable to Iut ; iimiitedl xtent. Thllrv are those who claii that it cali bte Nuccess-
fully grown witlh only the II;tt -aril iilins. lint alter c;ref1 l in e.tigation I seriously
(loubt its practicability.
James Perry, Whitesboi'ougii, Noit hteistern Texas:
Alfalfa is a fair success in our bhacK \, axvy si 1, and l;ai I ,e cut twice a year, yield-
ing one to three tonIs at a cutting. Iroadr;ist sin ng i., lie u,,sual mIIIethIod, alnd seems
to be sufficient. on clean land. It sttads .the (drioight well and the freeze of ordinary
winters. Three years ago, however, 1 hadil seven acres hadly killed by spewing up"
in winter, but, the scattering oplait s that reniain'dl art.e d ig well.
C. A. Graves, Fiskville, Central Tex;as:
It is cultivated here o13ly to a sinmall exticnit. It dies 41it in ,-pots, just as cotton,
sweet potatoes, and sonie other vegetablles do. andl apparently foir the saime unknown
reason. In some localities, thle sports where it dies ot eo\'erolieorthof the ground.
The uncertainty of moisture on andl near the leurl'face fior any length of time, owing
to hot suns and drying windsl, u akes tie catch fr-,im all seeds that germiinate near
the surface uncertain.
Dr. E. P. Stiles, Austin, Tex.:
Alfalfa is not permanent here. For t\Wo or three years it will produce good crops,
and then it begins to die out in circular patches. The spots increase in size until in
a year or two they become contnluent. Cotton plants sometimes die in the same way,
and apple-trees put into such soil are subject to a .sudldeni blight. I have neverknown
Alfalfa to be killed lb either cold or drought, but, its growth is very slight in very
dry soil. In Green County it is grown quite successfully under irrigation, but it dies
in some localities there the same as here.
J. E. Willett, Farmington, Northwestern New Mexico:
Alfalfa grows finely here, and yields so enormniously that we want nothing better.
We cut, it four times during the season, obtaining a toI an id a half of hay at each
cutting. We raise nothing hliere except by irrigation. As soon as the crop is taken
off we turn on the w ater in many places at. wnce and llod the land for several days,
for Alfalfa requires an abundance of water, not withstanding the fact. that land
which is low and wet will not answer. It. flourishes on rock uplands that are very
poor, but must have plenty of water at. the right time. The soil is filledwith large,
long roots, reaching as deep as -20 feet.
George H. Jones, Naraiijos, Northwestern New Mexico:
It grows well without irrigation after the second or third year on any ordinary soil,
and yields very satisfactory results where properly put in. I know.one piece which
has stood eight yearsand still yields w-ell.
A. L. Siler, Ranch, Utah:
I know Lucerne patches that have stood fir twenty-four years, and they are as
productive as when first planted. It does well with irrigm.tion on any porous soil,
yielding 4 to 6 tons per acre. Without irrigation, it, would produce nothing.
William Leaman, Can onsville, Utah:
Lucerne does very well in this mountain country, where there is very little rain,
and produces from 2 to 21 tons per acre, and makes from three to four crops per year.
But I am well satisfied that it will not stand much wet weather, as excessive water-
ing kills it here, and water running over it in the winter and forming ice over it
Prof. A. E. Blount, Fort Collins, Colo.:
Our soil is mostly sandy loam and clay loamui, gray, and to all appearances very
poor. It is dry, hard, and destitute of black soil, except in low marshy places and
on the streams. Ou this soil, which has never been leached or deprived of its fertility
by moisture, we sow Alfalfa at the rate of 20 pounds to the acre. If kept well irri-
gated two crops can be taken the same season that the seed is sown, yielding as high
as 3 or 4 tonls per acre. The second season, ift a good stand was secured, three cut-
tings are made, yielding as high, in some localities, as 7 tons. Our largest yields
come from those farms where water is applied immediately after each cutting.
Among the best farmers 4 tons to the acre is a very small average. I have known 9
tons to be taken from an acre where the most careful attention was given. When
once rooted it is next to impossible to eradicate or kill the plant. One man plowed
lip a piece and sowed it to oats, and after having thrashed out 42 blushels of oats per
acre, he cut 3 tons of Alfalfa hay per acre from the same land. Some have raised
wheat, corn, and potatoes with excellent success, after turning under a crop of Alfalfa,
without in any way interfering with the stand of the latter the next year.
S. Pelton, Dickinson, Dak.:
I have been writing for three years to awaken the farmers of the Northwest to the
necessity of cultivating grasses andI ftrrage plants, especially Alfalfa, and have suc-
ceeded. The amount of evidence which I get through the Northwestern papers of
the success of Alfalfa in Dakota and MontanaL is abundant, and several report success
in Minnesota and Wisconsin. One writer in Wisconsin reports four crops a year; one
from Brainerd, Minn.. reports success, as do several others from that State. The
Cow Boy, published at Medora, 40 miles west of us, reports success in ten different
trials in that section, and no failures, and says that the Alfalfa was thrifty all last
season, when every other plant and grass was dried up.
It stands our season and will undoubtedly thrive from Texas to Manitoba on sandy
loam and moderately mellow soils, that are dry and have permeable subsoils. Our
seasons are long enough, so that after the plant is three years old it will give three
good crops of hay, anti then furnish pasture from September 1 until winter.
F. W. Sweetser, Winnemucca, Nev-.:
Alfalfa is cultivated quite extensively in several parts of the State. It does best
in a dark loam. It is hardly anti yields with irrigation about 5 toes per acre. One
season without irrigation will kill it.
0. F. WAright, Temnescal, San Bernardino County, Southern California:
Alfalfa is cut from one to six times per year. The yield when good is as follows:
First cutting, 2 tons of not very good hay; second cutting, 3 tons of good hay; third
cutting, 2A tons of good hay: fourth cutting, 2- tons of good hay ; fifth cutting, 1
ton of good hay. If the land is very dry. there may be but one cutting, the roots
living, but the tops apparently dead. If it is very dry the roots die also.
Pasturing in the latter part of summer does not injure it much, but in winter and
spring, when annual plants are growing, it soon kills it. A good stand cannot be
obtained without mowing, for worthless weeds would otherwise choke it out. The
plants increase in -strength for three years.
E. G. Judson, Lugonia, San Bernardino County, California:
Alfalfa is fairly hardy, but it cannot stand extreme cold. On dry lands it cannot
be grown without irrigation. It can be subdued by repeated plowings, or keeping
William Schultz, Anaheim, Los Angeles County, California:
Alfalfa fails without irrigation on account of the gophers.'which eat oftf the roots a
few inches below the surface. It is one of the best forage plants we have.
William C. Cusick, Union, Oreg.:
Alfalfa is not extensively grown ill this locality. It is 11ardly only at liteN' ow4'st al-
titudes, or where snow falls deeply. It prefers dry sandy soils that can be irrigated-
on such lands yielding 3 to 4 to ls per acre. Wit liomt irrigation it is hardly worth
cutting. This applies to thie portion of the State east of Ithe Cascade Mountaiills.
A few extracts from various agricultural papers anid other publica-
tions are here inserted.
Southern Live Stock Journal:
The value of Alfalfa in t'aliforniba is iniiestimlable. The plant is eminiently adapted
to the soil and climate (of th at State. It is wondhi -filly productive. It isgrown with
success in Coloiado and some of the Territories, and now and then an isolated report
comes ill) from t lie great State oft'Texais that it is fulfill ilg the highest hopes of those
who have given it. their attention. Pere and there from the Carolinas, Georgia,
Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, come favorable reports, but these in-
stances are few and far between. ThI. fact is Alfalfa has never yet had a fair trial in
Southern agriculture. Olr people, as a people, have never appreciated its value as
a worthy addition to Southern grasses and forag-o plants.
The failures that have liven Imad(e with this plant in the South are doubtless due
to the fact that (1) the weeds were allowed to choke it out the first, year, or the stock
to graze it too closely a.nd bite off the crowns of the plants before the roots were
firmly established; (2) the land was not rich enough; it requires very rich land;
(3) that the land was not suitable to its growth, or that it held too much water and
ought to have been ,nderdraineil.
Tulare County (California) lKegister:
Alfalfa is the foundation of prosperity in Tulare County. It begins to yield the
very year it is sown, and increases its yield many years afterward. It will grow
where nothing else will, and sends its roots deep down into the moist strata which
underlie the top soil all over the county. Alfalfa not only furnishes food forhorses,
cattle, and sheep, but hogs and poultry thrive upon it as upon nothing else until fat-
tening time collies, when a little Egyptian or Indian corn must be fed to make the
flesh solid. In Tulare, Alfalfa yields from 6 to 10 tons of hay per acre each summer,
besides supplying good pasturage the rest of the season; when it goes toseed it often
, ields a return of $40 to $60 peracre ;n seed alone, besides yielding nearly as valuable
a hay crop as when not permitted to go to seed. Upon Alfalfa and stock, Tulare is
building a great and assured prosperity.
George Tyng, in Florida Dispatch :
Sow in any month when the ground is moist, and at least four to six weeks before
heavy frost or before the season of heat and drought. Less seed will be required if
it is soaked before sowing. Put the seed into any convenient vessel and cover with
water, not boiling, but too hot to be comfortable to the hand, and keep in a warm
place for eighteen to twenty-four hours until the seeds swell enough to partially rup-
ture their (lark hulls. When the seeds are ready for sowing, drain off all the water
through a sieve or bag and dry the seeds with cotton-seed meal, laud plaster, or other
material,.increasing the bulk to a bushel and a half or two bushels for every 20 pounds.
If the ground be dry cultivate just before sowing, and sow in the afternoon. Cover
as soon as possible, and guard against covering too deeply. The best convenient thing
for this purpose is a light drag made of the bushy branches of trees."
Prof. E. W. HIilgard, in the Report of the Department of Agriculture
for 1878, page 490, says:
Undoubtedly the most valuable result of the search after forage crops adapted to
the California climate is the introduction of the culture of Alfalfa; this being the
name commonly applied to the variety of Lucerne that was introduced into Califor-
nia from Chili early in her history, differing from the European plant merely in that
it has a tendency to taller growth and deeper roots. The latter habit, doubtless ac-
quired in 1he dry climate n of Chili, is of course especially valuable in California, asit
enables the plant to stand a drought so protracted as to kill out, even more resistant
plants than red clover. As a substitute for the lahitter it. is difficult to overestimate
the importance of Alfalfa to Califoirnian agriculture, which will be more and more
recognized as a regular system of rotation becomes a part of the general practice.
At first Alfalfa was used almost exclusively for pasture and green-soiling purposes,
but during the last three or four years Alfala hay has become at regular article in the
general market, occasional objection to its use being time result of want of practice in
curing. On the irrigated lands of Kern, Fresno, and Tulare Counties, three and even
four cuts of forage, aggregating to something like 12 to 1.1 tons of hay per acre, have
frequently been made. As the most available green forage during summer. Alfalfa
ha:i become an invaluable adjunct to all dairy and stock lhrming wherever the soil
can, during the dry season, supply any mnoistlure witlihin 2 or :1 feet oftlhe t surface.
Peter Henderson, in an article on Alfalfil iu the Report of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture for 1884, page 567, says:
Mr. William Crozier, of Northport, L. I., one oli'he best-known farmers and stock
breeders in the vicinity of New York, says he has long considered Alfalfa one of the
best forage crops. Hlie uses it always to feed his milch cows and breeding ewes, par-
ticularly in preparing them for exhibition at fairs, where he is known to be a most
successful competitor; and he always takes along sufficient Alfalfa hay to feed them
on while there. Mr. Crozier's system of cult re is broadcast, and he uses some 15
or 16 pounds of seed to the acre, but his land is unusually clear, and in a high
state of cultivation, which enabl)les him to adopt the broadcast plan ; but on average
land it will be found that the plan of sowing in drills would be the best. Mr. Cro-
zier's crop the second year averages 18 tons green to the acre, and about 6 tons when
dried as hay. For his section, the latitude of New York, he finds that the best d(late
of sowing is the first week in May; a good cutting can theu be had in September.
The next season a full crop is obtained when it is cut, if green, three or four times.
If to be used for hay it is cut in the condition of ordinary red clover, in blossom; it
then makes after that two green cropsif cut; sometimes the last, one, instead of be-
ing cut, is fed on the ground by sheep or cattle.
Bur, CLOVER, Medicago den ticulata.
This is a native of the Mediterranean region, which has become nat-
uralized in most warm countries. It was early introduced into Cali-
fornia and has become widely distributed in that State, where it is con-
sidered of great value. It is not of first quality either as pasture or hay,
but coming at a time of year when other feed is scarce, and often grow-
ing where little else will,it is eaten by all kinds of stock. The pods or
burs are especially sought after in the dry condition, as they remain
good until spoiled by rains. Although this plant does not withstand
drought as well as many others, it is enabled to grow on dry soils in
climates having prolonged droughts from its making its growth during
the rainy season. Sown early in autumn, in the sections to which it is
adapted, it grows during the winter and ripens the following spring or
early summer. It has been introduced from California into the South-
ern States, where it is generally highly regarded by those who have tried
it, both for grazing and as a renovator of the soil. Being an annual,
and ripening early, other crops may be grown on the same land durin'l
the summer without interfeTriing with t lie next growth of the clover. Tlhe
clover is usually allowed to reseed itself. But little of the seed is sold
in the market, and it is usually sownii by f'ariners without being cleared
from the burs or pods. One serious ol)jection to the plant is the liability
of the biurs to infest the wool of sheep.
There is another species called Spotted Medick (ilfcdi ugo macutiata)
which is often confused with this, and is probably the more common east
of the Rocky 'Iountains, but the two are much alike and of about the
same agricultural value.
Only Medicaqo denticulafa is mentioned by Professor1 Watson in his
Botany of California as being found in that State.
J. W. Alesworthi, Slack Canyon, Monterey County, California:
On the coast, where the climate is inioi.st, Bur Clover makes a rank growth and is
considered good feed late in the season. My place bing 40 miles fronim liLe coast and
1,410 feet in altitude it only grows here to a limited extent, though it is gr aldually
extending. When I came to this place in 1k-70 there was none here. Bur Clover is
good rich feed, but is not sought after by stock until tile other clovers alld alfiliria are
Daniel Griswold, Westminster, Los Angeles County, California:
It is grown in all the lower valleys of tlie southern counties of California wherever
the land is not very salty, but scarcely any is found in the high valleys. It grows
large and falls (low n and curls around so that it is verydithicult to mow, but all stock
cat it, on the ground, green or ldry. The seed is never saved, though it is produced
0. F. Wright, Temescal, San Bernardino County, California:
It. grows here abundantly on high lauds with alfilaria. These are the only plants
on such lands that cattle will eat. They are never killed by cold here, but die when
dry weather comes. Stock pick on the Bur Clover while growing (from J;nuary to
June), and after it dies they hunt for the burs which are on the ground, and in their
efforts to get them they roll the old dry stems into rolls, often as big as winrows of
S. H. McGinnes, Belmont, Tex.:
The California Bur Clover does well here, making good hay and pa.sture. It conies
up in Octoher aud ripens in May. It takes but very few bunchlies to prode(.e a bushel
of seed burss), and it only has to be planted once. Horses and hogs do well upoln the
burs after they ripen and fall off.
Edwin C. Reed, Meridian, Miss.:
Bur Clover has been grown here to a limited extent, and a few who have grown
it twelve or fifteen years find it all that could he desired for winter and spring pas-
ture. All stock eat it freely when they acquire a taste for it, and sheep anid hogs eat
the burs left on the ground. The plant reseeds itself, but tle ground should be
plowed and harrowed in August to secure an early winter pasture. It matures the
first of June, after which peas may be broadcasted on the same land, when it will
require no fall plowing. On rich lands it sometimes seeds in B,'rrnda lbeds, affording
both winter and summer grazing. I have grown vines 61 feet long, hip high, and
as thick as it could stand. I prize it above all other winter pastures. It is admirably
adapted to the Eocene formation, where red clover does not succeed, and it is far bet-
ter if it did, as Bur Clover is a winter plant.
J.S. Newman, director Experiment Station, Agricultural and Mechan- j
ical College, Auburn, Ala.:
First introduced into the cotton States, as f'hr as I know, by the late Bishop George
Pierce, from California, about 1867, and planted at his home in Hancock County,
Georgia. It has since become quite popular in some localities.
Desmodium is a genus belonging to the same family as the pea and
clover, and like them is rich in nutritious material. There are about
forty species native in the United States, many of them hard and woody,
but several of them furnishing valuable woods pasture to wild and do-
mestic animals. They are often called beggar-tick, beggar-lice, beggar-
weed, or tick-seed, from the tendency of the seed-pods to cling to the
clothing of persons or the hair of animals. The same or similar names
however, are applied to other plants.
The species of perhaps the most importance is Desinodium tortuosum,
which is confined to Florida or the vicinity of the Gulf coast. Seeds of
this species were distributed by the Department of Agriculture in 1879
under the name of Desmodium molle, and a number of favorable reports
have been received from those who have tried it in the southern portion
of the Gulf States. It is valued most as a renovating crop for lands
where clover cannot be successfully grown. It is also oC considerable
value as pasture, and has sometimes been used for hay.
J. G. Knapp, Limona, Fla.:
Few forage plants bear a better reputation here than Desniodium molle (tortuosumi),
commonly known as leggar-weed. Horses prefer it to any other growing plant. It
comes as a volunteer in fields planted with other crops. When the'stalks are 30 or 40
inches high it may be cut for hay, and as many as 2 tons secured from an acre. The
stubble will lput forth new shoots alnd mature sufficient seed to restock the field. It
will thrive on the poorest sandy soil, and in a few years, if turned under wheh ma-
tured, will render them rich and productive.
J. C. Neal, Archer, Fla.:
It is especially valuable to Florida, as it enriches the soil beyond any other crop
and is not in the way of the corn crop, germinating after corn is laid by. Cattle and
horses fatten on this plant rapi(lly; in fact, nothing is better to restore health and
vigor to a worn-out beast than a few weeks in a beggar-weed patch. It isof no value
for hay or winter forage.
J. A. Stockford, Caryville, Fla. :
It is at home in Middle Florida, and is being introduced in Western Florida by sonime
enterprising farmers who have had a chance to test its value in Middle Florida while
farming there. Those who have condenined it have usually done so without appar-
D. S. Denmark, Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia:
We have a plant hero known as be-ggar-weed tha;Lt grows on cultivated lands, and
when once seeded always seeds itself. It is a fine summer and fall forage plant; also
fine for hay, and for renovating worn-out lands, but difficult to exterminate. It
grows only in South Georgia and inll Florida.
W. B. McDauiel, Faceville, G;a.:
Beggar-t'ck or beggar-lice grows well inl tihe soutliwestern part of Georgia, is an
excellent plant for forage, both green andi cured, and is splendid as a fertilizer, build-
ing up land very rapidly. Fronm the lirst of Jully it will entirely cover the ground
the same season.
R. J. Redding, Atlanta, Ga.:
Introduced from Florida, and cultivated in Southern Georgia for hay and as a
renovator of the soil, especially the latter. It is not hardy against cold, and is not
grown in Middle and Northern Georgia.
L. W. Gentry, Anderson Court House, S. C.:
The Desmoditum, which grows here slpontaneously (probably not tortaosumn), is a
deep and tough rooted plant, hard to kill by cultivation, eagerly devoured by live
stock, growing on any soil, but not card for in any way. I have seen it on rich,
moist land 6 to 7 feet high. but not thick enough to pay for harvesting. The roots
are so tough that the plow will seldom cut them unless it strikes them deep.
J. S. Newman, director Experiment Station, Agricultural and Me-
chanical College, Auburn, Ala.:
Florida beggar-weed was much talked of some ten or twelve years ago, as the com-
ing forage plant and soil-improver, and many planters experimented with it only to
find that they had introduced a nuisance.
Whitfield Moore, Woodland, Red River County, Texas:
That which I cultivated was from seeds from the Department of Agriculture, and
appears somewhat different from the native. It has to be seeded annually. It will
not stand much grazing, but is a good fertilizer, and drought seems not to effect its
growth in the least. It is best adapted to light sandy land, and will grow a heavy
crop from 4 to 6 feet high on the poorest sandy land we have, and in the driest sea-
sons. The hay is very sweet and nutritious, and all stock eat it more greedily than
anything else I have ever fed. The only olijeetion to it is the trouble of saving and
cleaning the seed.
JAPAN CLOVER, Lcspcdcza striata, P1. XV.
This plant was introduced, in some unknown way, over forty years
ago from China into the South Atlantic States. It was little noticed
before the war, but during the war it extend(led north and west and has
since spread rapidly over abandoned fields, along roadsides, and in open
woods, and now furnishes thousands or acres of excellent grazing in
every one of the Gulf States, and is still spreading northward in Ken-
tucky and Virginia, and westward in Texas, Indian Territory, and Ar-
kansas. It is an annual, and furnishes pasture only during summer
and until killed by frost in the fall. The small purplish blossoms are
produced singly in the axils between the leaf and stein, and the seeds
ripen, a few at a time, from about the first of August until the close of
the season. It reproduces itself from seed on the same ground year
S after year, and on this account h;as been erroneously called a perennial.
It will grown poor soils, either sand or clay, but prefers the latter. It
is better adapted to poor soils than Bermuda Grass, both from giving a
mbre certain and perhaps larger yield, and from being more useful in
restoring their fertility. On poor upland soils it is seldom cut for hay,
growing only from 6 inches to 1 foot in height, and being inclined to
spread out fiat upon tlhee surface. O()zt rich bottom lands it grows thicker,
taller, and more upright, and is largely cut for hay. It has been sown
artificially only to a limited extent as yet, but seed is now offered in the
market, and its cultivation is likely to be considerably extended, espe-
cially on lands too dry or poor for Alfalfa and where the true clovers do
not succeed. Japan Clover is remarkable for holding its own against
other plants. It will run out broom sedge a(nd other inferior plants,
and even Bermuda in some localities. It does not withstand drought
as well as either Blerunuda or Johnson (rrass, but soon recovers after
a rain. The young plants are easily killed by drought or frost and for
this reason a good catch is more certain on an unbroken sod than on
well-prepared land. Still there is believed to be less difficulty in ob-
taiinng a catch with this than with some other forage plants. A good
method of seeding is to sow in March, at the rate of one-half bushel per
acre, on small grain sown the previous autumn or winter.
For hay it should be cut early, b)e-ore it, becomes woody. It is cured
in the same inmanner as clover, and the hay is apparently relished by all
kinds of stock. There is some complaint that sto ck do not at first eat
it readily while growing, and that horses and mules are liable to be sali-
vated if allowed to eat it freely whiile very luxuriant. In both these
respects, however, it probably differs little from the ordinary clovers.
No cases have been reported of bloat or hoven being caused by it.
E. L. Allen, Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee :
Lespedezastriata (Japan Clover) grows luxuriantly, is very hardy, and is the best pas-
ture we have in sumniir. It is especially adal)ted to poor uplanld, covering the earth,
eradicating weeds and sedge grass, preventing lanhd froi washing, and increasing its
fertility. If grows well in the open timber. Our special need has been a grass to
withstand the heats of sumnmenr and atford pastures for the early fall. Japan Clover
has miet this reqiiremnut.
IH. H. Lovelace, Como, Henry Countly, Tennessee:
Japan Clover mnide its appearance here three or four years ago, and now occupies
nearly all lands that have been exhatnted and turned out, growing on land too poor
to grow any other plant. In fact, it willI grow in a red gully ; hence it is the best
thing to prevent washing I ever saw, besides all kinds of stock are fond of it, and
grow fat on it.
B. D. Baugh, State statistical agent, Carrollton. Miss.
Japan Clover is the most widespread tof tlhe natural forage plants of this State. It
grows luxuriantly on any kind of soil except light prairieasl land. It is easily cured,
makes hay of excellent quality, and furnishes more than half of the long forage of
this State. It grows well on uplandl, linut best on bottom land and alluvial soil,
where it frequently attains a eight of 310 in.hes. If intended for hay it should be
mowed when the first, bloom appears, and be browsed or stacked after six or eight
limiirs' exposure to the sun. It affi-rils good pasture from tlih first of May until killed
by frost, about the middle of Novenmber.
George Echols, Longview, Gregg (County, Northeastern Texas:
It appeared here four years ago, and it no\v w Iias lposession of all the open idle laml.
It seeds very abundantly, and grows so densely that it forms a mat. It flourishes
with Bermuda Grass, so that the hay mowed is about half and half.
Dr. B. H. Brodnax, statistical correspondent, Broduax, Morehouse
Le8pedeza was first noticed here about 1865. It is supposed to have been introduced
iu the cavalry hay fed the horses of the Federal cavalry, which occupied this parish
for a short time. It has since covered nearly the whole parish. It is not cultivated,
but is rapidly rooting out nearly every other grass iu the parish. It kills out bitter
weed (dog fennel), Bermuda Grass, and everything else. It is a splendid forage crop,
and excellent for grazing until frost destroys it.
Dr. Charles Mohr, Mobile, Ala.:
Lespedeza 8triata, Japan Clover-an annual plant, which, during the last twenty
years has spread all over the Gulf States. It blooms and ripens its seeds from the
early summer months to the close of the season, and grows spontaneously in exposed,
more or less damp, places of a somewhat close loamy soil. No attempts at its cultiva-
tion have been made. In the stronger soil of the lands in the interior this plant, pro-
tected from the browsing of cattle, grows from 1 to 2 feet in height, and yields large
crops of sweet nutritious hay, the same l)lot affording a cut in August and another in
October, yielding respectively a ton anud a half and one ton of hay to the acre. The
plant is perfectly hardy, and is not knownI to have been killed outby along drought.
It is easily subdued by cultivation, as it does not again make its appearance on laud
where it has been plowed in. and is not found among the weeds the farmer has to
contend with in the cultivation of his crop. It is a perfect pasture plant, easily es-
tablished and standing browsing and tramping by cattle well. Its propagation
through the woods and pastures is effected by cattle-the seeds passing Ihrouiih the
animals with their vitality unimpaired. As a fertilizing plant it is greatly inferior
to the Mexican clover.
J. B. Wade, Edgewood, DeKalb County, Georgia:
It is said by the old residents here that Japan Clover was unknown in this part of
the country until after the war." It now grows sl)ontanYously on most of the land
of Middle Georgia that has a red-clay subsoil, and which has been turned out, i. e.,
is not plowed or cultivated for two or three years. It grows sufficiently high to make
hay, but as it springs up in February, or even earlier should there come a warm spell
of weather, it is mostly used for grazing, as it lasts from February to November.
J. B. Darthit, Denver, S. C.:
It does not staud drought as well as Bermuda; both are our best pasture plaL1ts.
For cattle we have nothing better than Japan Clover, but it salivates horses and mules
after the 1st of July, especially if very luxuriant.
J. W. Walker, of Franklin, N. C., in a letter to the Blade Farm, says:
Seventeen years ago Japan Clover was found here occupying an area not exceed inug-
10 feet squ irc ; it uow covers thousands of acres, upon which all kinds of stock keep
fat and sleek, while the yield in milk and beef products has increased a hundred fold.
Our exhausted and turned-out lands that have hitherto yielded nothing but that
worse than useless broom-sedge (Andropogon. 8coJparau8), now have in its stead a beau t i-
ful carpet of most nutritious verdure. This plant grows anywhere and on any kind of
soil, rich or poor, wet or dry, high or low. It has been found in luxuriaut growth on
the summit of the Blue Ridge, at a height of 4,000 feet. It will catch and grow luxu-
riantly where none of the clovers proper will grow at all; unlike them it never runs
J. B. McGehee gives the following experience in a letter to the
Southern Live Stock Journal, September, 1886:
This has proved the worst season for its propagation that I have yet met with. I
have this week examined over 200 acres of my last spring's sowing, where I sowed
one-half bushel of seed per acre, and I find ihe most spotted stand I ever saw, aud of
rlie whole 200 acres I will get a crop of hay oi n ot to exceed 50 acres. My tirst sow-
ilug ,Of abolIt .O acres was commenced about March 22, and finished about the lst of
April. This was coining up thickly when the freeze of the 9th of April came, and I
ani convinced that all ,-eeds then sprouting were frozen out and killed. The swings
during April did better, but anything like a reasonable stand is found only on moist
place.,. The rea.-.,u for this is the fact that not a d rop of rain fell from April
26 to June 6. My worsi catch was oun comparatively clean land, an oat field,-in which
the out-, had been mostly killed by the winter. My best catch was on a gra.: -Od." I
fillul that a freeze or a drought catching the plants before the roots have penetrated
the .suui are quality disastrous. On some meadows of previous swings, I am now
cutting a heavy crop of almost pure Lespedeza. Tlhe reverses of this year will not
loosen tile hold of the grass on my e1stimatio, in the least.
CACTUS, Optuntia Englemianni, and others.
A number of species of Cactus, mainly of the genus Opuntia, and
commonly called Nopal or Prickly Pear, are used as food for cattle
and sheep in the dry regions of Texas and westward, where the ordi-
nary forage plants fail. In the natural state cattle do not often touch
it, unless driven by hunger, except while the new growth is young
and tender. Sheep eat it without prel)aration more readily than cattle,
andl for them the plants are sometimess merely cut down so as to be
within reach. More often the herder passes along anti clips oft
a portion of each flat joint, so that the sheep can enter their noses
without coming in contact with the spines. For cattle, it is customary
to singe off the spines over a brisk blaze.
Considering the extent to which these plants are eaten by stock, even
in their natural state, it is remarkable that so few evil effects have been
observed. A large majority of those who mention their use state that
no injurious results have come to their notice.
A sufficient number of instances of injury are reported, however, to
show that (t0,mpelling stock to eat then unprepared is cruel, if not un-
protitable and to render it prob.,ible that the suffering and loss on this
account have not been fullyv observed. A number of instances are re-
ported of cattle having died from the acciimuilation of the spines in tihe
mouth and stomach. The jaws and neck sometimes become swollen
and inflamed from the presence of the spines. The tongue has been
known to become so tilled with them as to be rendered unfit for Ifood.
How this amount of injury can occur and not affect the growth of tlie
animal it is difficult to see. The injury to sheep is mostly confined to
the nose and lips, and is not considered very serious, as the needles
soon fester and come out."
The succulent nature of the plant in the growing season sometimes
has too great a laxative effect, but if other fodder is fed with it this
tendency is rather beneficial than otherwise. Notwithstanding these
difficulties, however, the Cactus, when I)roperly prel)ared(, is a valuable
fodder plant, and is destined to come into more general use in the warm
arid parts of the country.
J. A. Avent, sr., B3exar County, Soutlhern Texas
I have been feeding PricklyPear L'r liirt year-. It is an1 excIlhlit feed for.attl,.
if fed with fodder or hay of any kind ; wli-,i li1t too full of saN it May be fi'd alone.
Ifcuti in January it can ie fed iinutil March 21O, I1ut it left. standing it is not good fi' d1
after the 20th of February. There Is ;nothing that cattle like better tihanii Prickly
Pear, when accustomed to it. WVe feed it only in dry year., when grass is scarc.. We
begin feeding about the first. of No\e-inlher and continuti until itie 210th of F,.lriiaary.
The old stumps, witli a little corn, will fatten cattle very fa.t. \Vo burn oti the
thorns in feeding it, but miiost stock raisers do int. Thlie apples ripen a.lout thlie first
of July, and are eaten lby almost \every'lhiing. Logs get fat en igli ulion them to ri-
der into lard. when the crop is good, a nd it seldomm fail.s.
A. J. Spencer, Uvalde, Tex. :
It is eaten by cattle, shep, goats. ind hhs. "hey eat it iui.ai1lv asfouiind on the
range, though sometimes tlhe thorns are -Corelied t0f. It i., cmnN-iei.Ied one of the best
native forage plants, especially to carry tliese stock tihrmiIgh thlie lotn, g drowights lhat
occur occasionally in WVestern Texas. It is a partial substitute for water for all stock
thliat eat it. Thie only injury I have known to result fromt ,atil1g it hais h1.en to sheep,
and then only when eaten while, frozen.
S. S. Jamison, Burnet, Tex.:
It is used extensively in t he southwestern part of the State, e.-pecially by Mex icans,
for wintering work-oxen. cows, and other cattle upon. The thorns are -corched ott
before feeding, and no harm results from its use, unless it be too greit a laxness at
times. Only one kind is used as far as I know, but it varies in height in different
localities. In this country it grows from 6 inches to 2 feet high. Farther south it
grows taller. In Matamoras, Mexico, I have seen th. "Nopal" as tall as the po.,t-oak
timber, and having large round trunks like any other tree.
Prof. George W. Curtis, College Station, Tex.:
It is used quite extensively for cattle and sheep. The prickles are -inged off, or
the whole plant is boiled and fed mixed with bran. Only tlhe O)puntia rulyaris, and
perhaps a variety of the same, are used, so far as I know. I have no positiveknowl-
edge of any injury to stock from feeding upon it, but from its purgative nature I
should be afraid that it might cause abortion in pregnant cows.
Has your attention been called to the use of the Prickly Pear Cactus as a lubricant?
Certain of thle Western railroads have used it with excellent results. It is gathered
in Texas, shliippled to Saint Louis, ground up coarsely, and pine tar added to keep the
albuminoids from decomil)osition (I do not know whether anything else is added or
not), after which it is barreled and returned. The total cost is 2j cents per pound,
and it is said to do the work of ii or8 cents' worth of grease and rags formerly used. It
is especially useful in preventing and cooling hot boxes. If this comes into general
use it will open a new field of production.
Leonard A. Heil, San Antonio, Tex.:
The Cactus or Prickly Pear grows abundantly in nearly every section of Southwe.,t
Texas, often reaching a height of 10 or 12 feet. Ever since the settlement of the
country by the English, and probably years before, it has been used to supplement
grass in times of drought, but now it is being used with other feeds at all times, and
especially in the winter. Sheep do well upon it without water, there being sufficient
moisture in the leaves. The herder goes along with a short sword and clips the
points of the great leaves so that the sheep can insert its nose, when it readily eats
Dr. A. E. Carothers, an extensive ranchman of Cotu.lla, La Salle County, began feed-
ing Prickly Pear and cotton-seed meal to 400 head of steers for the purpose of fatten-
ing for the market, and at the last account was highly pleased with the result and
confident of financial success. He singes off the thorns with a flame, and cuts up the
pear and feeds it mixed in troughs with the cotton-seed meal in the proportion of
about 5 pounds of meal to 70 pounds of pear. Thet, steers eat this food with great
relish, and take the food rapidly. They have about a 2,500-acre field to run in. If
this method of feeding proves a success, it may woik quite a revolution in this sec-
tion, as thousands of tons of cotton seed are exported annually to England, and the
supply of the pear is simply inexhaustible. The feeding of the pear need in no way
diminish the supplllY. as, whenever a piece of leaf is left on the ground, it takes root
and makes another plant, growing rapidly. Corn is always high, and can never be
transported hure for stock feed, and the stock shipped back again, overthe same road,
with a ert.aiinty of profit. The utilizing of Prickly Pear and cotton-seed meal will
matie beef raising, as well as breeding, profitable in this portion of the country, and
make the ranchmien entirely independent of all other sections.
Dr. Carothers, above mentioned, writes, March, 1887:
In pursuance of a correspondence had with your Department last summer, begun
by Mr. A. J. Dull, of Harrisburg, Pa., who has cattle interests in this State, I have
fed 400 beeves, and am now feeding 800 more on this food. From the analysis fur-
nished by Mr. Richardson, of your Department, I found that the Cactas was deficient
in albuminoids, and from the well-known richness of the cotton-seed oil cakes in
these elements, I selected it to supply the deficiency, which it did very well. At first
I burned the thorns off the Cactus, then cut it, up by a machine which I devised, and
spread it in large troughs, scattering the cotton-seed meal over it when the cattle ate
it with great avidity. I soon found, however, that the burning was injurious, as it
was impossible to conduct it without cooking the Cactus to a greater or less extent,
which caused purging in the animals. To remedy this, i. e., to destroy the thorns
without scorching, I took advantage of the botanical fact that the thorns of Opuntia
Englenmanni, the only one 1 use, are set at an angle of about 60 backward to the
plane of the leaf, and that a cut of half inch in width would strike every one of them.
I therefore set the knives of my machine to a half-inch cut, and find that when cut in
this manner cattle eat it fully as well as when scorched, with none of the unpleasant
results referred to. I feed per head about 60 pounds of the Cactus, and an average
of about 6 pounds of the meal per day for ninety days. A train load of 330 head
of these cattle sold last, week in Chicago at 41 cents. The meat is singularly juicy
and tender, the fat. well distributed among the muscles. I have sold it at 1 cent per
pound gross over grass cattle in San Antonio.
John C. Chesley, Hamilton, Hamilton County, Central Texas:
The Prickly Pear is used here to a great extent. We have a ranch in Stephen8
County where we are now feeding the pear to over a hundred of our poorest cattle, and
they are doing well on it. It is fed at nearly all of the ranches of Stephens County,
where they are feeding at all, and there are thousands of cattle being fed this 'inter
on Prickly Pear that are doing well and will come to grass in good shape that other-
wise would have died, or at least the larger part of them.
The pear should be cut and hauled to the feed-lots while the sap is in the roots, or
before the warm days come, for if it is fed when the sap is in the tops it is liable to
cause laxness and weakena the animals. We prepare it, for feeding by holding for a
moment over a blaze. I believe that, in the southern part of the State they have a
burner with which they burn off the prickles, without cutting the plants from the
ground, and then let the cattle eat them as they please, but we prefer to cut and feed
as above stated. One good man can prepare the Cactus and feed about 100 head of
cattle in this way. A poor or half-starved animal should be fed only a small quantity
at first, which may be gradually increased until the animal is allowed to eat all it
wants. When fed in this manner to range cattle, we have never known any injurious
results. But if it is fed to steers, and they are worked immediately afterwards, even
if the feed is small, and they are accustomed to it, they are liable to swell up. We
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I UT.CZ,I I.
have had then do so when we thought there was danger of its proving fatal. Tlihy
can be give a feed at night, however, and then worked tbhe following minorning with-
out danger of any injurious results.
H. J. Hunter, MI. D., Palestine, Tex. :
West of the Colorado River in this State the Cactus grows in vast forests. I have
seen cattle and sheep feed on it as it grows wild. Stockmen cut it on the ground,
binge off the prickles, aud cut in small bits for their stock.
Mr. Alouzo Millett, of Kansas City, M3o.:
I confine the treatment of my stock in La Salle County, Texas, for their first six
weeks or two months in that locality, almost exclusively to the feeding of Prickly
Pear, which simple measure has proved highly successful, and is worthy of more gen-
eral trial as a preventive of Texas fever. There is a Cactus called by the Mexicans
.opal de Castilliano, which is cultivated in this State for its fruit. This plant grows
very large and yields enormous crops of fruit, which is sold on the street for food and
to make beer. The young growth of the Cactus is used in early spring by the Mexi-
cans of Western Texas as food. It is cut in small pieces, mixed with flour in a batter
and fried. It is said to be as palatable as egg-plant.
Edward Beaumont, Jemes, N Mex.:
The Cactus is not used here to any great extent, but it makes good food for horned
stock, especially cows. The thorns are scorched off over a blaze of brush or straw.
When cattle, get used to eating it they come running as soon as they see a smoke.
Otanes F. Wright, Temescal, San Bernardino County, California:
Many kinds of Cactus grow here. The flat kind, or Prickly Pear, is abundant in
places. Cattle, goats, and sheep eat it sometimes without any preparation when
very hungry, but it looks as though needles and pins would be a pleasanter and safer
diet. I have never known, however, any bad results to come from eating it. After
boiling to soften the thorns it makes good food for milch cows, and is much relished.
The trouble of boiling prevents its extensive use.
MEXICAN CLOVER, Richardsonia scabra, PI. XVI.
Spanish Clover, Florida Clover, Water Parsley, Bellfountain, Poor
Toe, Pigeon Weed, &c.
This is an annual plant, of the family Rubiacem, which contains the
coffee, .inchona, and madder. It is therefore not a true clover, that
name having perhaps been given from the general appearance of the
plant and the fact that the flowers are mostly borne in terminal heads.
The stem is spreading, branching, and somewhat hairy, and the leaves,
unlike the clovers, are composed of a single piece. The plant is a native
of Mexico and South America, which has become naturalized in the
United States, especially along the Gulf coast, where its chief value
seems to be as a renovator of poor sandy soils. In more dry exposed
regions it seems to require rich cultivated soils in order to do well. It
has been but little cultivated, and it is not known how far north it may
be grown successfully, but it would probably have little value where
clover can be readily grown. The statements in regard to its value for
pasture and hay are very conflicting. It is usually quite succulent, and
not readily cured iu the climate where it is most largely grown. As it
S grows chiefly in cultiv-ated grounds, it is often looked upon only as a
B. E. Van Bureii, Lake Side, Fla.:
I have disseminated the Spanish clover all over my place, as I consider it a valuable
plaint for improving the lanl. It is also a very good forage plant, and will grow on
the poorest soil withiuont manure.
J. C. Neal, M. D., Archer, Fla.:
Grows rapidly, seils itself, and makes a fair looking lawn or field, but I have not
foiun.] a ,ow or horse that would touch it green or dry.
J. G. Knapp, Hillsborough County, Southern Florida:
FlluiLd in moist fields in this c)iunty and considered a valueless weed. It is noteaten
greele by either cLattle or horses. and grows llat on the ground, so that it cannot be cut
for hay. On account of the large number of seeds it perfects, it is difficult to eradi-
cate. It is spoken of in smme secti,,ns as a fertilizing plant. In my opinion it has no
other value. and I estimate it low for t]iat purpose
B. C. Smith, Cold Water, Ga.:
Thrives only ol highly fertilized soils, in the best of tilth, where it gives a large
yield. Mexican clover, being very similar to puirslane, is very hard to cuie, and is
not well relished by cattle or horses.
C. Menelas, Savaitnnah, Ga.:
I have s'enI it imly on the Gulf coat, where it flourishes liuxuriantly with',ut culti-
vation, and is dreaded by nearly every one as a weed. Stock appear to be very fond
of it, and the yield per acre must be very heavy.
Dr. Charles Mohr, Mobile, Ala.:
Introduced froni the neighboring tropics and pe-rfectly naturalized. It is never
cultivated, but takes possession of the fields, and arrives at the period of its fullest
growth after the crops of vegetables, Irish potatoes, corn, and oats are laid by or have
been removed, yielding spontaneous .rops of hay. anil aflording fully two cuttings
during the season of from 1 to 2 tons of hay per acre, according to the fertility of
In 1674 the same gentleman sent a sample of hay of this plant to the Department,
which was found to le nearly as rich in food elements as clover hay. In his letter
he then said : It forms a large and important part of the pine-woods pasture on this
part of the Gulf coast. Hundreds of tons have been stored up this season in this
county. It is much relished by horses andl mules, which seem to thrive well upon it,
and sheep feed upon it with great avidity. The plant is known here by the name of
" Mexican Clover," Poor Toes," or "Pigeon Weed." Seventeen years ago it was but1
sparse, now it occurs in all our cultivated grounds, covering them with a luxuriant
vegetation after the crops of the summer have been removed.
Thomas J. Key, editor Southern Agriculturist, Montgomery, Ala.:
It grows luxuriantly on cultivated sandy lands in the southern part of the State,
makes excellent hay, and matures after corn lias been laid by.
James B. Siger, Handsborough, Southern Mississippi:
Of late years Mexican clover has been introduced and grown among the crab-grass.
It is spreading rapidly. Its habits and manner of cultivation are the same as crab-
grass. Cattle will pick it out from any other hay and eat it in preference to any.
Edward C. Reid, Meridian, Miss.:
It is hardy, and grows on the poorest sandy land from the coast up to the Cretaceous
l'borUlation. It stands drought t1and is hard to exterminate. It comes up after corn is
laid by, and on cotton land covers the cotton. It is not especially valuable as a past-
nre plant, as it comes up late and pasturing kills it out. In cultivated lands it re-
seed, itself and comes year after year.
Clarke Lewis, Cliftouville, Noxubee County, Mississippi
It grows in tlie Gulf States on sandy land and furnishes abiiud(laintr fotrag, f fllir
(quality on poor soil. There is none in this section.
W. H. Nevill, Binnsville, Miss.:
Doeu well in the southern half of the Gulf S'tates.
J. H. Murdock, Bryan. Brazos Cotunty, Central Texas:
It is grown here, and stands drought very well on our light sandy soils, and make-.,
good pasture in its sea-,on.
Mr. Matt. Coleman, Leesburg, Sumter County. Florida, in 1878, wrote
to the Department:
The tradition is, that when the Spanish evacuated Pensacola this plant wa.- ,1i-N
covered there by thle cavalry horses feedlig UjtpouI it eagerly. Fiv e years ago I pro-
cured soni of the seed, and havc .since growi- it ini my orange groove s as ; forage ilailt
and fertilizer. It grows on thin pine lhiand 4 to G feet in lengtllh, branching anal for-
lug a thick mat, which affordsall the inmilchi mny trees leqiliire. It ret.uuires two d'avs
sun to dry it, and its sweet hay is relishl(ed by horses anil cattle. Thi. \hiti- 1ilooli
opens in the morning and closes at evening, ;ind is visited by 1bees and liutterflies..
WASHING OF THE SOIL.
The question was asked in the circular whether washing of the soil
was troublesome in the various localities, and if so, what remedies had
The replies show that throughout the larger portion of all the Southern
States, except Florida and Louisiana, and in parts of those States.
washing of the soil is one of the greatest hindrances to successful agri-
Almost no remedies have been attempted in the past, except throw-
ing brush in the washes and turning out the land to common when it
has so far lost its soil and become filled with gullies as to be iio longer
profitable for cultivation. Recently, however, terracing and hillside
ditching, especially the former, are being practiced by many of thebest
Iarmers. The terraces are recommended to be made on a perfect level,
at every fall of about 3 feet, mostly by means of a plow, throwing the
earth down hill. When finished the terrace is level, and varies in width
at different points according to the slope of the land.
The edge of the terrace is sometimes set in Bermuda or some other
grass, but often allowed to grow up to weeds. Sometimes only slight
or rough terraces are made, and their position changed from year to
year. Sometimes strips of grass are left at suitable intervals, running
across the hill, to serve the purpose of a terrace. Whether terraces are
made or not, it is recommended to run the rows crosswise of the hills
or circular, so as to be at all points nearly at the same level. Some-
times, instead of terraces, ditches are made across the face of the hill
at a slight fall, about 1 inch to every 10 feet. The ditch should have
broad bottoms and as few sharp curves as possible, and should be kept
The most important fact in this connection, and one recognized by
some of the correspondents, is that the cause of washing is mainly
owing to cultivating the land too long before seeding down to grass.
Hilly land washes most, not merely because it is hilly, but also because
it generally contains less vegetable matter. Land containing much veg-
etable matter is porous, especially if plowed deeply, and allows the rains
to sink into it, and not accumulate on the surface and form rills to start
If the tendency of rolling lands to wash, after being in cultivation a
few years, shall induce deeper cultivation and the frequent laying down
the land to grass, it may not prove an unmixed evil.
NEEDS OF DIFFERENT LOCALITIES.
Wesley \Vebb, publisher Delaware Farm and Home, Dover, Del.:
In New Castle County, Delaware, and Cecil County, Maryland, Timothy and Clover
(with rye for winter feeding) answer every purpose for hay and pasturage. As a
nitrogenous forage plant, we do not think anything better than Alfalfa can be found.
We need, however, something that will take the place of Timothy in all the peninsula
below Kent County, Maryland, and Central Kent in Delaware. The soil below Dover
is too light for grazing, and but little live stock is kept in comparison to what might
be kept if the soiling system were more generally practiced, as it is to a limited ex-
tent and very successfully. I am of the opinion that some of the varieties ot Sorghum
ndigare may be grown fbr soiling and ensilage with fair hopes of success.
L. WV. Gentry, Anderson County, South Carolina:
We are in great need of good permanent pastures, and also of something better
from which to make hay for winter use. Bermuda and Johnson Grasses might be
valuable if we could raise them, and especially if we could learn how to control
By act of the legislature, and by our own vote. South Carolina is now fencing her
stock instead of her crops, and bare pastures are common all over the State and we
are obliged to supplement them with some kind of forage plants, but we prefer this
to fencing the crops. We grow mostly for this purpose Cat-tail Millet, Egyptian Rice
Corn, Mille Maize, and forage Corn (Indian).
B. C. Smith, Cold Water, Elbert County, Georgia:
Our greatest need is green pasture for the early spring season. Our shallow gray
soil, on close red-clay foundation, often impacted with flint or other stones, does not
admit of deep cultivation. Shallow plowing favors washing, and by the time that
we get the original forest land in good condition for cultivation the soil is mostly
g-one, and we have barren and gullied red-clay hillsides, while the beds of the creeks
have become partly filled with sand, Thus rendering the lowlands too wet. It is not
practicable to fertilize our soil by green crops grown upon the land. Any land which
will grow its own fertilizer will make cotton, and cannot he spared. The forests were
mostly cleared in the days of slavery, and by injudicious culture the soil is mainly
gone. The only redemption consists in letting the worn lands grow up in common
pine and lie idle twenty-five tofifty years. Toditch, terrace, fertilize, and improve a
farm generally would require all of a farmer's time and labor, without cultivating
any crop. Therefore the land is being exhausted and going to waste, and wealth is
decreasing cCery hour. With the present and prospective population people do not
consider that they can spare an acre of fertile land for grass. In former times, thirty
to fifty years ago, when rain in summer was more common, the "Broom Sedge" was
our best grass for spring grazing, but siuce broughtt and Japanese Clover have become
common, we have very little Sedge." It did not grow until frosts were over; we
need an earlier variety. Rye is about, all we have for early grazing. Kentucky Bluio
Grass grows at the proper season, but the land will uot produce it freely enough to
make it valuable. It grows finely in a garden or where anu old barn Mnd stack lot lia;
stood for a long time. Common Red Clover does well in similaLr lands, but suchli laudls
cannot be afforded for such purposes; in fact, if all the valuable land in the two
counties was in grass, the supply would not meet the demand, and the grain crops
would be ruled out, which would be a worse calamity than the absence of grass.
During the summer mouths our common Crab Grab's" is the best we have for pasture.
It grows on wheat stubble-fields if we have plenty of rain.
It will require the greatest practicable diversity of crops, with all the skill and
labor available, to save this portion of the country from ruin.
William W. Bailey, Hawthorne, Northern Florida:
The greatest demand for Florida is a winner grass to keep the stock from suffering
in November, December, January, and February. The Johnston, Para, and Bermuda
Grasses solve the problem for summer grasses, but, practically speaking, they stop
growing with the first frost. Can't you think of some grass suitiuglight sandy soils,
which will send its root deep into the ground for its support, and not be easily dam-
aged by frosts? Rye has been our only dependence so far for winter pasture, but it
must be sown every year.
R. L. Jackson, Saint Maurice, Winn Parish, Louisiana:
We, in this county, have paid no attention to the grasses, and but little to the
rearing of stock. A little corn and oats upon which to feed our mules while cultivat-
ing "king cotton" is all we have wanted; but we are retrograding, and I hope
through your efforts a better system of agriculture and a brighter future is dawning
for the Southern farmer.
J. N. Russe, Duffan Wells, Erath County, Northern Texas:
In this locality it is very drought at least half of the time, and it has not been
considered a farming country until within the last seven or eight years. Farming
thus far has only been on a small scale, but have enlarged as the cattle have been driven
out. The range is a thing of the past here now, and farmers are sadly in need of
grasses for their stock. As yet nothing has been tried except Johnson Grass, and that
spreads so rapidly and is so difficult to subdue that farmers are afraid of it.
F. P. Margot, Benton, Saline County, Central Arkansas:
We are in need of more and better forage plants, so as to have pasture during the
dry and hot summer months. This part of the State is high and hilly (except along
the rivers). Most of the upland is gravelly, sand and clay mixed, with a red-clay
subsoil at a depth of from 1 to 4 feet. The common Red Clover seems to grow all
right until the dry spell sets in, but has not proved with me to be a reasonable suc-
C. H. Walker, Surprise, Butler County, Eastern Nebraska:
I desire to say that in regard to the tame grasses, it appears to me that your De-
partment might be of great service to the West. I can speak assuredly of Nebraska.
A residence of nearly thirty years in that State, and a careful observation during that
time, have enabledme to notice remarkable changes of opinion thathave taken place.
Until within a recent period it has not been thought that the tame grasses would
ilourish here, repeated experiments proving failures; but recently success has been the
rule. Our experience, however, has been confined principally to Red Clover, Timothy,
and Blue Grass, the latter not meeting with the favor of farmers. There are other
grasses That should be tested here, and I venture to suggest that in my judgment the
Department could do no better service to Nebraska than by introducing grass seeds
that aie not found in our markets.
W. A. McKing, Little Stony, Colusa County, Central California:
The great need of California, and of my section especially, is a grass that will with-
laan(l our summer drought without irrigation. Johnson Grass and Milium multiflorum
[Lcryzupsin mnaulliflora] promise well, but have decided faults. There is a period every
year in the State, wheu the fall rains have rotttd the dry feed anti Alfalfa and John-
1ou Grasses are dormant, that is very distressing. A grass that could be irrigated in
Scotemnber, and be from the first of October to the first of April what Alfalfa is during
the rest of the season, would be of great benefit.
WV. A. Sanders, Sanders, Fresno County, Californ a:
If an.uy one plant will furnish what we get from Alfalfa and Bamuboo-viz, pasture
and feed in abundance for the entire year-that plaut we desire to find. But it must
reist drought in summer and frost inv winter, and must be of enormous growth on a
,small amount of moisture.
I send specimens of two native weeds of far more value for forage, and also for
hay, than Altilaria ; these are Eritrichnim Chorisiannurn, locally known as "' White Blos-
0111," .and Amnitnckia .,pectabilis, called Yellow Blossom," or GI Fiddle-neck." Both are
of tlie Borage family, are of enormous growth, are highly nutritious, and are greedily
eaten by all kindsof stock.
Alfilaria gets most of the credit for the immense amount of food which they furnish.
Th'y are dirty-looking, uninviting weeds, and only old stockmen know their value
butt with such as have raised stock here for a number of decades they are more highly
prized than any other native plant.
Alftilaria always grows among them. None of the three are cultivated.
XV. C. Cusick, Union, Onreg.
(Olr special needs in thlie wayof tforage plants for the region east of the Cascade
R-ange. are grasses or clovers that will mature on dry soil, with our limited amount of
rainfa;ill, a stuffticient amount of forage to be profitable for mowing, at the same time
being hardy. I doulbt if we shall find anything to excel some of our native grasses
for this purpose.
Med icago sativa.
Alabama Guinea grass ..................................................... 13
Alfalfa.................. ........................................... 36
Alfilaria .................................................................. 34
American Canary grass......-........................................... 0-------------0
Amsinckia spectabilis ..................................................... 5-
Andropogon scoparius-..................................................... 4J
Arabian evergreen millet...--... ....................................... 16
Austin grass ........--.....-...........-....-.................-......---.....--...... 13
Australian millet....................................................... 16
oats .---.........--..-........ ...................... ........... 32
prairie grass ..................................... .............. 32
BeLltbuntaiu ....-.........................----..--......-....... ..---........-..... 53
Bermuda grass.---..........-..................---.......---............---............ 25
Brazilian clover.............---.............................................. 36
Bromus Schraderi......................................................... 32
unioloides ........................................................ 32
Broom-sedge ....... ...............w..................................... 49
Bur clover .......---..............--......---........--...........--.....--............. 44
Cactus ..--..........---.....--.....-.....--.....-................................... 50
Canary grass, American ................................................... 20
Ceratochloa nuioloides .................................................... 32
Chilian clover......----...................................................... 3
Crab grass .....----..----.--...- ....................................... 11
Cynodon dactylon.--.-......----....-..................................... 25
Cuba grass.---.......----.. ...........---..........-...-.................... 16
Desmodium molle ---............-------..-........-......-.....-....................... 46
tortuosum .... ....................... ........................ 46
Egyptian grass............................................................ 16
Eritrichium Chorisianum.................................................. 58
Erodium cicutarium.......... .-..w...................................... 34
moschatam ...................................................... 36
Euclamna luxurians ......---....-........----............--.......................... 14
Evergreen millet.......................................................... 16
Festuca unioloides ........................................................ 3
Fiddle neck ............................................................... 58
Filaree ................................................................... 34
Filaria ..................................................... ............. 35
Florida clover...............................................w.............. 53
French clover--............................................................ 36
Green valley grass ....................................................... 16
Guinea grass-.............................................................. 9
Hairy-flowered paspalum-..................w............................... 7
Holcus lanatus............................................................ 22
Japau cloverr.............................................................. 47
Johnson grass ..... ....................................................... 15
Lespedeza striata ......................................................... 47
Louisiana grass ...........................................................8
Meadow soft grass ......................................................... 2
Medicago deuticnlata .................--....-----...-.......................---...... 44
maculata ........---.......-- ........... ..-........................... 45
sat iva .......................................................... 36
Medick ..............................................................-----------------------------------------------------------------..... 36
M esq iit grass-............................................................. 24
M exican clover............................................................ 53
Milium nii multifloruinm ....................................................... 58
M illet, Texas...........--................................................... 12
M illo maize .........-..........................................--............ 18
Morocco millet.......................--- ....---................................. 16
Needs of different localities.....---.......-.......---..........--................... 56
Oat grass .........--------------------------...-----..-..-.....-.............----.-..--.............---------------. 24
Oryzopsis multiflora-- .--.-..--....-..--.....--......................... 58
Opuntia Eugleanni--...................................................... 50
Panicum barbi node .......----....--....-........---...-.............................. 6
,auguiiinale ...................................................... 11
Texanum ........ ............................................... 12
Paira grass ..............------.....----........-.....-.............-................... 6
Paspalum dilatatum ....................................................... 7
jumentorum .................................................... 9
maximum ...................................................... 9
ovatum ...----........-......--..................--......--......-.......... 7
platycaule ...................................................... 8
Phalaris iutermedia ....................................................... 20
Pigeon weed .............................................................. 53
Pin clover ...........----..---..........................................--- ......... 34
grass .......................-........--- .............-- .........---............ 34
Poa arachuifera-........................................................... 30
Poor toe ..--------------......--.-..----....--.---------------------.............---------...---------.. 53
Prickly pear ...........................................................------------------------------------------------------------... 50
Ray grass................................................................. 24
Reed Canary grass ....................................--...........-......... 20
Resciie grass -. ..---................................................... ... 32
Richardsouia scabral-'a ..----......-.-.....------------------.............---...---------. ........ 53
Salem grass........--........-.....-..--.............-----...--........................ 24
S'raidr's bromieC grass ..- -- ...-............---.....---......--..........-.... 32
Smiu t grass ............................................................... 21
Sorghum ha Ilepe se............................................-- .......----..... 15
vii lg:i re ......................................................... 18
Spanish clover.... ........................................................ 53
trefoil ............................. ........................ ..... 36
Sporolbolus Indicus ........--..............................................--- 21
Spotted medickl.........--............---......................--- --................ 45
Tall ineadow oat grass ...........................................--......... 24
Tall oat grass-............................................................. 24
Taller oat grass ..............................--- -- .........................-.... 24
Teosinte ...... ...... ......... ---... .. .............. ...... ..- ............. 14
Texas bliiu grass .-----------------------------..---...-------.................---.........--------------.. 30
m illet .............................................................. 12
velvet mesquit grass........----........................................ ----- 24
Velvet grass ..............................................................-- 22
Velvet. laWli grass.---------------------------
Inesquit grass...... .......................... ...... ............ .. "''
W ashing of thle oil ..................................................... 1.
W ater parsley ..... ... ... .. ........... .. --.. ............ .. .5:
W hiite tiiothy. ................................................... ........ :24
W oolly soft grass.......................................................... 24
Yel low blossom .................. .... .. ............................ .
Yorkshire white grass ............ ------------.-..................-- .......... ...... 4
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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