Category Archives: Plant of the Month

A Vintner’s Lesson

The little girl saw her grandpa standing on the balcony and ran up to him. “Papa what are you looking at?” the little girl asked.

Hands that had seen many years of work reached down and picked up the little girl. “My darling angel, I’m looking at yours and mine future. Do you see it out there?”

Laughing the little girl responded “But Papa our future is not out there. That is just grass and vines.”

“No my darling it is so much more. Those vines are what produce the best tasting wine in the states. And that grass there helps those vines, by helping the soil to remain fertile for the New Year.” The old man explained. He looked out over the balcony and the rolling hills of green grass and lush vines that moved with the gentle blow of the wind, as if the waves of the ocean gently caressed them. Looking down at the little girl he smiled because he knew that one day she would understand the importance of the land and how to care for it.

Agriculture production of all types is a very essential way of life. Weather it is producing food, wine, wildlife enhancements, or conservation. Agriculture is and will always be a way of life for the world. In order for agriculture to succeed we must be stewards of the land. As the old man knew that one day the little girl would understand the importance of the land and how to care for it, we all must become familiar with it.

In the Texas panhandle the past couple of years have been tough on the agricultural community because of the recent droughts. Sales Professional Pat Pearson understands this and that is why she chose Buffalograss as her favorite native plant. The reasons below are why Buffalograss is her favorite.

  • Buffalograss is a native, warm-season stoloniferous perennial. It is a short growing grass that requires little maintenance.
  • Buffalograss is true to its drought consistent nature. Pat has customers tell her that well water applications were significantly reduced by planting Buffalograss in their yard.
  • It is an important factor in the shortgrass prairies for range grazing by both wildlife and livestock.
  • Buffalograss is not only used for rangelands, but for landscaping as well because of its short plant height and low maintenance.
  • In landscaping having grasses that will remain greener longer with less care is important. And Buffalograss is the grass to go with since varieties like Topgun were bred to stay greener longer than other grass.

Let us look to the future of agriculture and the generations to come after us. Continue to learn to be better stewards of the land in all ways possible. Let us be the grandfather of the little girl and know that it is up to us to ensure that future generations learn the importance of the land and how to care for it. Wendell Berry once said “…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of if, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

For more information on Buffalograss visit


Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

The Painter’s Image

The soft swish of the brush against the canvas slowing brings to life the image before the painter. The slow and steady hand of the painter glides gently over the canvas creating the perfect image before the painter. This perfect image is the one and only that can preserve such beauty forever frozen in time. The painter delivers the last stroke of the brush with precision and care, and as she steps back the full magnitude of the beauty that was captured is illuminated. The image is as if every color on her palette was made from the flowers that stretch out before her canvas. The bright yellows of the sunflowers, bright reds of the Indian blankets, and bright blues of the blue bonnets are illuminated in the afternoon sun. This painting expresses in every color, stroke, and brush the passion that nature has to offer.

It is images like the one created by the painter that truly do help us to see just how beautiful nature is. Nature is full of color and thriving life, sometimes we need only to take a step back from the canvas to really appreciate her beauty. Sales Professional, Carolyn Harris does just that and that is why she chose Maximilian Sunflower as her favorite native plant.

Maximilian Sunflower is a tall, warm-season forb. It is found in many different soil types and of course sunny locations. A member of the true sunflower family, Maximilian Sunflower is a typical seed found in mixes for rangelands as it has high quality forage for livestock.

Carolyn gave these reasons why she likes Maximilian Sunflower.

  • Maximilian Sunflower has a very unique growth pattern. As the plant begins to flower multiple bright yellow flowers form around the stalk, giving it a splash of color from every direction.
  • Before flowering, the plant resembles that of a shrub, which is why it is good on rangelands. Because of this shrub like appearance it a high quality forage for livestock, as well as cover for wildlife.

Sometimes when we look out at the landscapes before us, it can be shadowed by our opinions or lack of understanding. But when we take a step with a clear mind we see things in a different light. For instance the sunflower, it is always following the bright rays of the sun, never looking back at the shadows behind it. Pedro Calderon de la Barca once said “Light-enchanted sunflower, thou who gazest ever true and tender on the sun’s revolving splendor.” So lets us not only take away the appreciation of nature’s beauty but also the lessons we can learn from it. Look for the sunshine in every day, and appreciate the splendor that is before us.

For more information about Maximilian Sunflower visit

Max Sun

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

A Homesteader’s View

Its late spring 1864 and there’s a slight chill in the air as the woman pulls her shawl a little tighter over her shoulders as she watches her little girl run about with her dog. Evening is approaching and as the sun begins to fade into purples, oranges, and reds it accents this unfamiliar land. The woman has fallen in love with the slight rise and swell of the land as far as the eye can see. She is determined that this area is where she and her husband will stake as their land. Her husband walks up and wraps his arm around her shoulder as they both look out over the land that is to become their homestead. Their cattle are already foraging in the lush grasses about them. It’s a new beginning, a second chance, and the start of what soon becomes modern day ranching.

If we take a step back through time and the importance of proper land management it is much like those rises and swells of the land mentioned. There is no denying that improper land management has occurred throughout time leading to devastating soil, grass, and native losses. However, as the saying goes “With age, there comes wisdom” it is also true for management. Throughout the years, ranchers, farmers, and conservation have continued to improve on their land management skills, and one way to see of those improvements is by what grasses are present on the land. One of those grasses that is a good indication of proper land management is the warm-season bunchgrass; Indiangrass.

Sales and Marketing Manager Rhett Kerby’s experience in land management has led to Indiangrass being his favorite native grass; and these are his reasons why.

  • Indiangrass is only typically found in areas where management has been top priority. It does not tolerate overgrazing, therefore making it an indicator of pristine environmental conditions and management.
  • Indiangrass is also a part of the native plant community that pollinators will seek out.
  • Wildlife use Indiangrass not only for food via seed or forage, but also as nesting habitats, and brood and escape for bobwhite quail.
  • Indiangrass is also a major element in the native prairies that are dominated with tall grass vegetation.

Time is our proof that hard work and determination to make the best out of what we are given has helped in our land management skills. It’s our ability to accept what we are given and make changes to accomplish our goals. As Audrey Hepburn once said “I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish more than I had ever hoped.”

2010 Quick - Draw Studios Pictures 106

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

A Hunter’s Perspective

It’s an early November morning, the hunter’s breath visible on the cool morning air as he slowly approaches the suspected covey in a covering of Little Bluestem. The hunter flushes the covey out of their hiding spot and slowly works behind them. His loyal and trusted hunting dog pads softly across the hardened earth as he circles to the front to stop the covey’s approach. Together the hunter and his loyal companion work as one in the attempt to come out with a full bag. In the flash of the eye the covey flies out and separates, testing the skill of the hunter.

It is about that time of year when quail hunters are gearing up for season; scouting out the best areas, and tracking the covey’s movements. But how do those hunters know which areas the quail are most likely to frequent you might ask. Well, they are going to begin in the areas that have the most suitable habitats for wildlife. A typical grass that those hunters will be looking for is Little Bluestem.

Little Bluestem is erect, bunchgrass, that can grow up to heights of three feet tall. These characteristics are what make it the number one plant for quail habitat as it provides ideal cover for nesting. Not only is Little Bluestem ideal for nesting, but the seeds are readily eaten by songbirds and upland game birds.

Brett Bamert, an avid quail hunter himself gave these reasons why Little Bluestem is his favorite native grass.

  • Little Bluestem is a great wildlife enhancer as it provides cover, nesting, and food for ground birds and mammals.
  • Its palatability makes it a great grass to include in seed mixes for grazing or haying for wildlife or livestock.
  • It is a highly adaptable grass; being able to adapt to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions.
  • Little Bluestem is effective in turning whatever moisture it receives into forage for grazing or haying.
  • Little Bluestem is also a native grass that requires little maintenance after establishment.
  • It is also a unique grass in how it changes to a reddish color upon maturity in the fall.

Native grasses, shrubs, and flowers all play a significant role in providing wildlife habitat. Weather they are there to provide nest, cover, or food they are equally important. Hunters know and appreciate this and work to help enhance the habitats. James Swan summed up the responsibilities of hunters as conservations when he said “The emotions that good hunters need to cultivate are love and service more than courage. The sentiments of the hunt then become translated into art.” (In Defense of Hunting)

little bluestem

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

An Early Morning Landscape

Close your eyes and imagine a misty morning; an eerie heavy fog covering the land, and then slowly that landscape begins to change. As the fog slowly drifts away and the gold, purple, red and orange hues of the sunrise stretch out across the prairie the world comes to life. Pastures of grasses, flowers, and shrubs breathe in the new day as cattle graze, birds sing, and horses frolic in the new light of day. As the sun begins its ascent the eerie grey landscape becomes one of bright greens, yellows, pinks, and organes as the rays caress the grasses, flowers, and shrubs to life.

If you have ever traversed the plains or rolling hills of Texas you might have experienced the change of the landscape as described above. And so with that image in mind, we will be presenting a grass, flower, or shurb (catching up on these first two posts) that you might see on the landscapes of Texas. In appreciation of Texas Native Plant Weed we will be presenting a favorite of one of the staffs each day this week. And what better way to kick off Texas Native Plant Week than with the Lone Star’s State Grass: Sideoats Grama.

Did you know Sideoats Grama is a great bunchgrass that is adapted to most soil types? It is also one of the most important grasses on rangelands; producing more forage than smaller bunchgrasses like Blue Grama. Sideoats Grama is also one fo the easier plants to identify because fo the unique growth structure of the seed. The plant derived its name from the alignment of the seeds along one side of the stalk.

The President of Bamert Seed Company: Nick Bamert gave these reasons why Sideoats Grama is his favorite.

The adaptability of this grass is amazing, not only is it adapted to climates from Canada to the Gulf Coast and the East Coast, but it also has the ability to adapt to a wide range of soil types.

Because of the adaptibility of this grass it makes it a key player of grasses for quick establishment and erosion control.

Sideoats Grama is also a great grass to consider when grazing for wildlife enhancements. It is a good forage producer that is palatable to all types of livestock and is a great nesting site for wildlife.

It’s not just those characteristics that make it Nick’s favorite but also its history. Early explorers such as Corondao wrote about a grass that was “belly deep to a horse” and that grass was Sideoats Grama.

The native plants that make up our prairies, pastures, and landscapes can definitely inspire words, pictures, romance, and awe. Eliza Steele said it best “A world of grass and flowers stretched around me, rising and falling in gentle undulations, as if an enchanter had struck the ocean swell, and it was at rest forever…” (Summer Journey in the West, 1840)

Sideoats Grama

Bamert Seed

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

Plant of the Month – Croton

“Various species of croton are commonly referred to as “doveweed” which implies these plants are important to doves—and indeed they are.  Seeds of various crotons are common in crops of doves (and quail too!).  For the most part, these crotons are annuals (e.g., wooly croton, one-seeded croton).  There are at least 20 species of crotons, but only 2 of which (to my knowledge) are perennials.”  (Dale Rollins, June 2011 e-Quail Newsletter)

“This plant is a weed of disturbed sites, prefers sandy to sandy loam soils. Flowers July to September. Croton is a monoecious plant, it has both male and female flowers. The oil from the seed is highly toxic to livestock but provides a valuable food source for quail, mourning dove, and turkeys. The Hopi Indians and early pioneers used the plant medicinally.” (USDA-NRCS, Common Rangeland Plants of the Texas Panhandle)

Texas CrotonTexas Croton



Bamert Seed Company ( grows, processes, and markets woolly croton and many other wildlife species.  Please contact us for all your wildlife seeding needs!

Rhett Kerby

by Rhett Kerby, M.S.