The Texas Almanac for 1861 Page: 141
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NATIVE OR INDIGENOUS TEXAS GRASSES. 141
No. 3. Biennial.
This is the smallest of the Rye genus. Like No. 2, it is found taking possession
of the eat-out places, road-sides and locks of the fences. Like it, too, from being too
thick, is seldom found more than six inches high. This and No. 2 are nearly always
found together; in their habits, size, choice of locality, and the odor of the hay that
is made of them, so much alike, that they may be estimated at about the same
value. Two to three feet; matures in May.
No. 4. WHEAT GRASS.
This grass comes up from the seed in November. In January, February, and
during the spring it has the smell, taste and general appearance of wheat ; horses,
cows, etc., graze on it as they would on wheat. When it heads up it is about as
high and has very much the same appearance, but its grain is precisely like flax-
seed, and falls out very early when ripe. I cultivated two acres of it two or three
years ago, and cut it down about the last of April, it produced a fair quantity of the
best hay-it was, in its nature, more like good fodder, and the horses ate it freer
than any I ever had. I think it superior, when properly put in the ground, to rye
or barley, for winter pasture.
No. 5. RESCuE GRASS.
This grass is found in all kinds of soil west of the Brazos, is a biennial, indigen-
ous plant, and will yield heavy crops of hay when rightly managed, but it is inferior
to several other species of our native grasses. Recently it has been much talked
of in Georgia and Alabama, and other Southern States, and not without some pretty
good reasons; but I think, when compared with a good many species of our Texas
grass it has been overrated; it, however, is a very good grass; three to four feet
high, and matures about the middle of May.
No. 6. BI MESQUIT.
My meadow, which is now ten years old-really, it is as old as the prairie, for the
ground has never been plowed, but has been inclosed ten years-had but very
little of this species of grass at first. It is about half of that kind now. Its roots
are triennial, and it produces good nutritious hay, in great quantities. My horses,
mules, oxen and milk-cows are fed on it every winter, and they do exceedingly well
upon it. Higher up the country vast tracts of good prairie lands are found heavily
coated with this grass alone, producing excellent summer range for all kinds of
No. 7. WINTER GRAss. Perennial.
This is superior to any grass I have yet seen in any country. For winter pasture
it has no equal. It will flourish finely in any of our ordinary post-oak lands, is very
green all winter, and is devoured voraciously by all the graminiverous animals ; hogs
eat it freely.
When cultivated for a meadow, it should not be grazed off during winter, as its
long, juicy, winter leaves make the very best kind of hay, when mowed and pro-
perly cured in the spring. It is headed up and ready for the scythe by the last of
April; two and a half to three feet high, and is a very superior grass for sweet,
nutritious forage; just smell of it now, while you have it in your hand. I am
not certain, but I think its roots are triennial.
I think it belongs to the Agrostis family, and I have ventured to name it, A.
Txaria. I have not, however, studied the botanical character of the grasses with
sufficient care, to be satisfied that I can correctly place its generic name, in a strictly
arranged, scientific nomenclature. This year, I have put up carefully prepared
specimens of it, as well as several other kinds of our fine native grasses, which will
be sent to the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, where they will be ana-
lyzed and receive their permanent characters.
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The Texas Almanac for 1861, book, 1860; Galveston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123767/m1/141/: accessed March 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.