Scleropogon brevifolius Phil.
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Scleropogon longisetus
USDA Symbol: SCBR2
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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Fruit Type: Achene , Caryopsis
Size Notes: up to 9 inches tall
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Female plants have showier flowers. Pink-flowering populations can be decorative when backlit.
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A rugged, drought-tolerant, mowable turf grass, some strains with attractive pink flowers
Use Wildlife: Nesting material
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Cuttings , Root Division , Seeds
Maintenance: Mow as desired until rains come. Then, let it bloom and seed out before resuming mowing.
BibliographyBibref 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
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Scleropogon brevifolius in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scleropogon brevifolius in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scleropogon brevifolius
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-11-21
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG