Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) J.T. Columbus



Buffalograss forms sod with creeping stolons that take root at the leafy nodes. Nodes are smooth, and the 2 to 2.5 inches or 5 to 6.4 cm long internodes are flattened and shorter than in Common Curlymesquite. Foliage turns reddish brown after frost. The ligule is a short, ciliate membrane. Male and female plants grow in separate colonies. Female plants bear seeds in bur-like clusters among the leaves (top drawing). Male plants have flag-like seed heads with two or three spikes (bottom drawing). Blooms opportunistically and produces seeds throughout the year.    Buffalograss is a perennial, warm-season, native species reaching 4 to 12 inches or 10 to 30 cm tall.    Good grazing for livestock. Fair grazing for wildlife. Foliage that is cured on the ground can supply forage for mammals during winter. The seeds may be consumed by birds, and the leaves can serve as nesting material. Buffalograss serves as a larval host for the Green Skipper butterfly. 


Grows on plains, prairies, meadows, pasturelands, savannahs, and mowed roadsides. Increases on heavily grazed tall-grass regions. Its native distribution includes parts of Canada, the United States, and parts of Mexico. It prefers well-drained loam, clay, caliche, or limestone. It does not prefer sandy soils.