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V-Bar-V Ranch
John Kava
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Bouteloua dactyloides - buffalograss

Synonyms: Buchloe dactyloides, Bulbilis dactyloides, Sesleria dactyloides

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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V-Bar-V Ranch John Kava
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V-Bar-V Ranch John Kava
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Plant - spring

V-Bar-V Ranch John Kava
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Dry sandy limestone soils. Often used as a substitute for turf grasses. Wide spread in the plains, rare in Arizona but found in Coconino and Yavapai counties.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: Below 5500 feet

Similar Species: Hilaria berlangeri

General Description

Desc: Strongly stoloniferous grass, sometimes sod-forming, 4 to 6 inches high. Male and female flowers usually borne on separate plants. Male seedheads have 2 or 3 comb-like branches. Female seedheads much shorter than male.
Identification notes: Perennial, slender and erect stems, may form mats, usually male and female plants. Female seedheads shorter than male, spikelets bur-like. Male spikelets 1/8 inch long in two rows on one side of the seedhead axis, 1 to 3 branches per seedhead.
Grass Type: Perennial mat or sod-forming  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: Y
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Less than 12 inches
Seedhead Structure: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: Y
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: Y  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Male seedheads are erect with 2 or 3 side branches bearing 2-flowered spikelets in two rows. Female spikelets are 1-flowered burs on short stems, partially hidden among the leaves. Florets are unawned or very short awned.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Leaves are flat with inrolled tips, <6 inches long and 1/8 inch wide, grayish-green or bluish-green in color, smooth without hairs or sparsely soft-hairy.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths open and rounded, often sparsely soft-hairy near the collar. Ligules membranous or a fringe of hairs.

Forage Value: Buffalograss is utilized by all classes of livestock and wildlife. It is considered good quality forage and nutritional qualities do not decline significantly during curing.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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