What Plant Is Important in March?
What Plant Is Important in April?
Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides)
Buffalograss is a warm season perennial sod-forming grass that is highly drought-tolerant and can be found on most loamy and clay soils throughout the Great Plains.
Forms a very dense sod and is often found growing in large patches in association with blue grama and other grama grasses
Has both above-ground and below-ground "runners," stolons and rhizomes, which make this plant a very resilient plant on the landscape
Has both male and female plants that grow separately
The female plant bears seed in burr-like clusters in the leaves close to the soil surface, while the male plant will produce flag-like reproductive "seed heads" above the leaves.
This shortgrass seldom grows to a height of 8 inches, but it can produce up to 800 pounds per acre of highly palatable forage for grazing animals.
Buffalograss is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant plant that has undergone a transformation from the prairie to the urban setting and is now used as a turfgrass for many a front yard in the state.
Editor's note: Jeff Goodwin, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Kent Ferguson, recently retired from NRCS, are providing us with plant identification photo stories to help ranchers identify those forbs, forages and brush species growing in the pastures. Photos are provided by the authors, Clint Rollins and NRCS National Plants Database.
"What Plant is Important in April" is from the April 2014 issue of The Cattleman magazine.