Key characteristics for properly identifying buffelgrass
Before treating buffelgrass, it is important that the plant is correctly identified. A water-resistant and tear-resistant identification guide has been developed. You can request a copy by email. This guide can also be downloaded as a pdf file. Below are listed some key characteristics.
- bunch grass — all stems come from a centralized point to form a large 'clump'
- color — plants quickly respond to moisture by turning bright green; during dry periods, the plants become a golden brown; previous season's growth remains on the plant and fades to a light gray
- bottlebrush inflorescence — the seeds develop on the end of a stalk, which has a slightly fuzzy appearance that looks like a bottlebrush
- rough rachis — the central stem that holds the seeds is extremely rough if you run your fingers from the bottom to the top
- hairy ligule — at area where the leaf blade diverges from the stem, delicate hairs are obvious when the leaf blade is pulled slightly away from the stem
- rough leaf blade — the leaf blade contains small stiff hairs so if you run your fingers gently along the blade from the stem to the tip of the leaf it will feel 'rough'
Bottle Brush Seedheads: Buffelgrass has a very distinct flower that looks like a bottle brush. The flower can range in color from reddish or purplish brown when seeds are young to a tan color when seeds are mature.
Rough Rachis: the part of the stem that holds the seeds is extremely rough if you run your fingers from the bottom to the top.
Hairy Ligule: Tiny whitish hairs can be seen at the base of the leaf where it diverges from the stem.
Although there are some key characteristics that can help in identification, some native grasses have a similar appearance. Learn to distinguish buffelgrass from these native grasses, which should not be removed.