Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Buffalo Grass

Buchloe dactyloides
Plant Type: Grasses / Sedges / Rushes
Native Environment: Prairie
Season of Interest: Mid (May - June), Late (July - frost)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Brown

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Green grass with seed heads and fine textured leaves.
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

3 to
9
inches

Spread:

6 to
12
inches
Size
Height: 3 to
9
inches
Spread: 6 to
12
inches
Size
Height: 3 to
9
inches
Spread: 6 to
12
inches
Typical Landscape Use
Turfgrass for lawns; can prevent erosion.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Plant seed in spring when temperatures will be above 60 degrees to allow germination. Cover seeds 1/4 - 1/2 inch (they wont stay moist enough to germinate if planted on the surface). Very drought tolerant, site in well-drained soil that tends toward dry. Can be mowed infrequently or left unmowed (mowing may help to control competing weeds); tan colored and inactive in winter.
Special Features
Special Usage
Ground Cover, Salt Tolerant
Basic Description

Fine-textured warm-season native grass is an extremely drought tolerant choice for lawns, requiring infrequent mowing. In the lower Midwest, occurs in nature only on loess hill prairies.

NOTE: Cultivars of buffalo grass have been selected for short internodes, which produces a good turf because the plants are close together, which makes the grass more competitive with weeds and helps to prevent weed seeds from germinating and surviving. The native, wild buffalo grass has longer internodes, and the turf is less competitive, resulting in weeds in the lawn.

 

Buffalo grass at Missouri Department of Conservation headquarters in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Buffalo grass at Missouri Department of Conservation headquarters in Jefferson City, Missouri.

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

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