Marcus, Joseph A.
Bouteloua dactyloides (Nutt.) J.T. Columbus
Buffalograss, Buffalo grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Buffalograss is a soft, gray-green or blue-green, perennial
turf grass which grows 3-12 inches if left unmowed and spreads by rhizomes. This long-lived, warm-season, sod-forming grass has curly leaf blades, slender stems, and compact seed heads.
One of very few drought-tolerant North American grasses suitable for lawn use, and the only one widely available, Buffalograss has become very popular since the late 1980s. (Two other drought-tolerant native
lawn grasses are Blue Grama/B. gracilis
and Curly Mesquite Grass/Hilaria belangeri
.) Buffalograss does best in clay loam, where it can survive on as little as one and a half inches of rainfall per month. In areas with even less rainfall, Buffalograss is sometimes mixed with the more drought-tolerant Blue Grama (B. gracilis
) to insure solid color through the dry season. Cultivars Texoka and Comanche were bred for forage and can reach 12 inches. 609, Prairie, and Stampede are lawn selections. Stampede doesnt get taller than 4 inches. Buffalograss lawns can be mowed or left to billow softly in the wind.
Image Gallery: 43 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Oct , Nov , Dec
AZ , AR , CO , GA , IL , IA , KS , LA , MN , MO , MT , NE , NV , NM , ND , OK , SD , TX , UT , VA , WI , WY Canada: MB
, SK Native Distribution:
Manitoba and Saskatchewan south through the central plains states of the US as far south as Puebla in Mexico. Mostly west of the 97th meridian and east of the Rocky Mountains and desert regions. Native Habitat:
Prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, savannahs. A dominant grass in shortgrass prairie, understory in taller prairie. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Well-drained loam, clay, caliche, or limestone. Does not like sand.
Conditions Comments: Requires only one and a half inches of rain per month to stay green. Will go dormant during droughts and in winter.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A soft, fine-leaved, low-maintenace, drought-tolerant turf grass that can be mowed. Many cultivars have been selected for lawn use, almost entirely male strains so there wont be seedheads.
Use Wildlife: Foliage cured on the ground furnishes winter browse for mammals. Seeds and leaves are food and nesting material for birds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Green Skipper butterfly.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: