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During the summer, this grass forms an attractive soft turf that is grayish green, bluish green, or green. However, it dies down during the winter. Buffalo Grass resembles the shorter Bouteloua spp. (Grama grasses), including Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama) and Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy Grama). These short grasses produce floral spikes that are shaped like small combs or eyelashes. Unlike these Grama grasses, Buffalo Grass is dioecious, producing separate staminate (male) and pistillate (female) spikes on different plants. The short length of pistillate culms for Buffalo Grass is probably an adaptation to grazing by hoofed mammalian herbivores, as its large grains are less likely to be consumed and crushed by their chewing mouth parts.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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