Buchloe dactyloides, commonly, known as Buffalo Grass, is a native perennial warm-season short grass. It spreads by runners which take root at the joint. Its height reaches only 4-8 inches which makes it a popular choice for native lawns and landscaping projects.
Several species of grasshoppers feed on the foliage of this species. They include White-whiskered Grasshopper, Red-winged Grasshopper,Carolina Grasshopper, Slant-faced Pasture Grasshopper, Large-headed Grasshopper, and the Mottled Sand Grasshopper. Another insect that feeds on this grass is the Buffalo Grass Chinch Bug and the Buffalo Grass Mite. In the shortgrass prairie of the Great Plains, this grass is eaten by Buffalo and Pronghorn.
Buchloe dactyloides is an important and widespread range grass in the Great Plains, where it is considered an excellent native forage species for livestock. To learn more about grazing natives, click here.
Buffalo Grass has been gaining popularity as a native lawn grass in full sun for golf courses, highway rest areas, and commercial and residential plantings. Easily grown in average, mesic, well-drained soil in full sun. Intolerant of shade. Tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soils. Adapts to alkaline soils. Avoid frequent watering. Plants are intolerant of lots of moisture, and generally do not perform well in areas with high rainfall. When grown as a turfgrass for lawns, mowing is infrequently required.
Buchloe dactyloides occurs in Missouri’s loess hill prairies. In the western, drier portions of the Great Plains, it is a major component of the shortgrass prairie. With its thick sod of roots and runners, this grass helps prevent erosion in the dry landscapes where it is common.