Alphabetical Plant Listing

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalo Grass)

Buffalograss, Buffalo Grass, Buchloe dactyloides, Bulbilis dactyloides, Sesleria dactyloides


Long-lived, Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalo Grass) is a warm season perennial grass noted for its soft, gray-green to blue-green curly leaves and compact seed heads. The foliage turns straw-colored from fall to spring when the plant is dormant. Highly drought tolerant, it requires only 1.5 in. (3 cm) of rain per month to remain green. Buffalo Grass is usually dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. The male inflorescence is a panicle while the female inflorescence consists of short spikelets borne in bur-like clusters. Fine-looking, low maintenance, it survives hot and humid summers with little water and fertilizer, making is a good alternative to turfgrass for lawns. However, it does not tolerate heavy traffic. Buffalo Grass is one of the most important forage grasses of the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies. It is an an excellent native forage grass and all types of livestock graze it during all seasons, including white-tailed deer, bison, pronghorn, black-tailed jackrabbit, and prairie dogs. Buffalo Grass sod is ranked superior in controlling erosion. It is effective on dry sunny slopes where it can provide some erosion control.

  • Grows up to 4-6 in. tall (10-15 cm) and 6-12 in. wide (15-30 cm). Will spread by branching stolons.
  • Performs best in full sun, in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soils, excluding sandy soils, as long as they are well-drained. Avoid frequent irrigation since this plant does not tolerate too much moisture. Drought and dry soil tolerant.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Can be mowed once or twice per season to maintain height.
  • Propagate by seed or division. Seeds should be cold-moist stratified for six weeks.
  • Native to North America - from central Canada south to eastern coastal Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, eastern Arizona, and northern Mexico

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Southeast, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Matt Lavin, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Southeast, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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