How to Identify Buffelgrass

Green buffelgrass often has reddish to purple seedheads. These seedheads turn golden as the plant dries.
Green buffelgrass often has reddish to purple seedheads. These seedheads turn golden as the plant dries.

NPS Photo

Download our buffelgrass identification sheet.

Buffelgrass is a perennial grass that grows in dense, messy-looking clumps. It sprouts new green (typically lime green) growth with adequate moisture and produces bottlebrush-like flowers. The flowers are red or purple when they are young and turn tan as they mature.

When the plant is dormant, it turns golden and may appear dead (don’t be fooled!). Another distinctive characteristic is that the stem where the seeds are attached to (the rachis) is rough and zigzagged. See what a buffelgrass rachis looks like compared to the rachis of some common native grasses.


 
Please watch Welcome to the Buffelgrass Patch, our informational video where we take you to a small infestation in the park and talk about identification, removal, and the effects that buffelgrass has on the landscape and the economy.
 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 37 seconds

Informational video on buffelgrass and its many effects.

Last updated: June 28, 2019

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