Buffalo Grass
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Where did it come from? Buffalo Grass is native to the Great Plains from Montana to Mexico. So this makes it one of the few native grasses to Texas, it grows from south Texas to the Texas panhandle, but is scarce in east and southeast texas because of sandy soils and abundant rainfall. Buffalo grass supported the huge herds of buffalo throughout the Great Plains and is also the sod most settlers built their house on. It can grow in a very dry climate or a cold and windy climate in the winter.

Description: Buffalo Grass is a perennial warm season turf grass. It usually grows between two and five inches tall.The leaves are usually a tenth of an inch wide and two inches long. It contains a round hollow stem with gray/green leaves. It is very drought resistant and turns different color in different seasons or temperatures it can be numerous colors like tan, lavender, brown, green , or gray. So even though it is a warm season turf grass it is very heat tolerant along with cold tolerant. Buffalo Grass has thin roots that spread out up to five feet, but most are within six inches.

external image buffalo-grass.jpgFemale- Females grow grass in clusters of three to five hairy spikelets.
Male-the small clusters of yellow to golden grass about two inches above the blade, make it stand out.

Maintenance: Buffalo Grass does not require frequent mowing because it is a short grass, so this is a reason it is very popular. Mowing once a month is plenty and fertilization is harmful, but topdressing in the fall can be helpful. Along with mowing watering is not a big deal it is needed but only occassionally.
Planting: It can be planted by seed, sod, sprigging, or plugging whichever is more convenient for you.
Pests: Buffalo Grass has two main pests cinch bugs and leaf spot.
Types: There are two main types of Buffalo Grass seeded and cloned. Seeded grass has a mixture of both male and female plants and are used for general use turf. Cloned grass are only female plants that grow a darker color and are only available in the form of sod.
Texoka -- released in 1960
Sharp's Improved -- released in the 1960s
Bison -- released in 1991
Tatanka -- released in 1996
Cody -- released in 1996

Prairie Buffalo grass
NE 609 Buffalo grass

Weakness: It is not adapted to shaded sites or heavy traffic areas so over grazing and heavy traffic areas can be harmful or fatal.
Strength: It is very drought tolerant it can survive off very little water because it goes into a dormant stage. It is also a low maintenance grass which is becoming popular.