En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 05, 2009

From: Wichita, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Curvularia blight in buffalograss in Kansas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Our buffalo grass is infected with a fungus called curvularia. How can we treat it?


Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) is a warm season grass native to the American prairie, including Kansas. Curvularia mold or curvularia blight is found in turfgrasses, and infection usually enters the plant through cut tips of grass blades. It is found in grasses that have been subjected to very warm soil and drought. However, it also can be a result of overwatering. This University of California Integrated Pest Management Curvularia Blight in Turfgrass does not mention buffalograss, but does list several non-native turf grasses that have been infected with curvularia.  That website also lists some fungicide treatments which can only be applied by personnel licensed and trained to do so. 

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends neither for nor against the use of pesticides, but if you do wish to treat the problem chemically, we urge you to seek expert help in doing so. It would appear, from the information we could find, that careful irrigation practices, in which neither over- nor under-watering occurs, will help prevent the spread of infection. We suggest you contact the Kansas State University Extension office for Sedgewick County. Contact information is on their Home Page and also on their Lawn and Garden page. It's likely that yours is not an isolated incident, and the Extension office should have information and help.

Pictures of curvularia-infected grasses. 

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Best time to plant Habiturf in Austin
February 20, 2012 - When is the best time to plant Habiturf seeds?
view the full question and answer

Planting from pots in summer in Austin
July 01, 2009 - It's the last week in June and temperatures are going to be at 100 or more all week. I've some plants that I'm wondering about transplanting to an exposed site in this heat: muhlenbergeria lindheim...
view the full question and answer

Native turf and trees for Odessa TX
July 29, 2013 - What native turf and trees can I grow in my Odessa, Tx back yard?
view the full question and answer

Illinois native grasses for shade
June 27, 2013 - Hello, my grass has died in a very shady area (standard buffalo grass), and I took this as an opportunity to plant some native grass varieties. I originally thought of buffalo grass, but learned that ...
view the full question and answer

Turf for high-traffic area in Austin
April 21, 2012 - I am building a large soccer field at my preschool in Austin, TX in a full sun area. What type of grass would be best for me to use given that it will be a very high-traffic area with lots of direct ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center