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

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Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Taylor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Would there be wild buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) growing in Williamson County?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Greetings, I have done a "test planting" of buffalo grass in my yard. There are now some blooms (?) on the grass and I have noticed similar blooms on grass in two different places in the area (Taylor, Williamson County, TX). I am pretty certain that these places has never been tilled or seeded. Is the buffalo grass bloom unique? Would there still be native buffalo grass in this area? Thank you.

ANSWER:

There should, indeed, be "wild" Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) growing in Williamson County, Texas.  According to Turner's Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, V.2, buffalo grass is widely distributed throughout Texas except for extreme East Texas.  You can see a distribution map from the USDA Plants Database.

Male and female flowers of buffalograss occur on different plants.  The first two pictures below show the female flowers and the last two photos are the male flowers.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides


 

 

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Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

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