This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
" D. B. W.," Crockett's Bluff, Arkansas, writes : " In our travels in Arkansas we came across a grass with the local names of 'coco grass' and 'Johnson's grass,' near the mouth of the Arkansas river. This grass appears to be a terror to the cotton planters, for when it gets a start on a cotton plantation they cannot kill it out or get rid of it. It grows from four to eight feet high, and spreads rapidly from under-ground stems, or rather suckers from the roots. It also grows readily from seeds. By some it is thought to be a great acquisition to this almost grassless region, for it makes a great abundance of most excellent pasturage for stock, and on good land makes from two to four heavy crops of hay in a season, that sells in the New Orleans market for nearly the same as the best timothy hay. What can you tell us about it, if you can recognize it by these local names ?"
[We do not know the plants intended by these local names. - Ed. G. M].
We have three answers to our Arkansas correspondent's query, at page 59, in our last.
One says, "The awful nuisance referred to is Cenchrus tribuloides." But this is an annual grass, while our correspondent describes his as a perennial, and the "great nuisance " comes from its perennial roots.
Another correspondent, having evidently the perennial root in mind, writes : "He means Cy-perus rotundus, var. hydra. It is a horrible pest; " but here again we are met with the statement that it " grows from four to eight feet high," which we are sure Cyperus hydra never does.
Two correspondents write that " Johnson grass is Sorghum halapense," and this may be, as that is a tall perennial grass, but yet hardly likely to be a serious pest in a cotton field. It seems as if "What is it?" is still a fair question.