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Scleropogon brevifolius (Burrograss)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Scleropogon brevifolius

Scleropogon brevifolius Phil.


Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Scleropogon longisetus

USDA Symbol: SCBR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

More drought tolerant than Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides), this tough, short turf grass is very aggressive. Though Burrograss is not normally considered decorative, after a rain some individual plants display female flowers of a glowing pink. Others bloom white. When pink-flowered plants dominate and are backlit by the sun, the effect can be subtly charming. Burrograss has an amazingly wide natural range, occurring from Colorado and Nevada south all the way to Argentina.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Inflorescence: Spike
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to 9 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Female plants have showier flowers. Pink-flowering populations can be decorative when backlit.


USA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT
Native Distribution: Nevada and Colorado east to central Texas and south to southern South America
Native Habitat: Prairie, plains, meadows, pastures, savannas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained, calcareous sand, loam, clay, or caliche
Conditions Comments: May go dormant in summer, greening up with late summer/fall rains. Only blooms after rains.


Use Ornamental: A rugged, drought-tolerant, mowable turf grass, some strains with attractive pink flowers
Use Wildlife: Nesting material
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Propagation Material: Root Cuttings , Root Division , Seeds
Maintenance: Mow as desired until rains come. Then, let it bloom and seed out before resuming mowing.


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Scleropogon brevifolius in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scleropogon brevifolius in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scleropogon brevifolius


Record Modified: 2009-11-21
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG

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