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Montana Field Guides

Buffalo Grass - Buchloe dactyloides
Other Names:  Bouteloua dactyloides

Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: S4?

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Warm season, dioecious, perennial sodgrass with creeping stolons. Stems 4–10 cm. leaf blades 1–1.5 mm wide, curly; sheaths with overlapping margins; ligule hairy. Inflorescence: staminate of 1 to 3 secund, lateral, divergent spikes, each 8–15 mm long with 10 to 15 spikelets, pistillate of 4 to 5 spikelets clustered into a short burr-like head or enclosed in sheathing leaf bases, this falling entire. Spikelets 4–6 mm long with 1 floret, the second glume becoming hardened and bony in texture and forming the burr-like covering. Lemmas distinctly 3-nerved, awnless, fused 2 to 5 together into a burr-like structure; palea enclosed in floret. Disarticulation above glumes in staminate inflorescence or below glumes in pistillate inflorescence; unit of dispersal is 3 to 5 spikelets enclosed in a burr-like covering (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout much of central North America (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 133

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Disturbance-prone open dry sites including pastures, roadsides, and lawns (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Anderson, N.L. 1962. Grasshopper-vegetation relationships on Montana grasslands. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Birkby, J.L. 1983. Interaction of western harvester ants with southeastern Montana soils and vegetation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT. Montana State University. 35 pp.
    • Brey, C.W. 1998. Epidemiology of wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella K.) and wheat streak mosaic virus on feral grass species and effect of glyphosate on wheat curl mite dispersal. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 136 p.
    • Haile, K.F. 2011. Fuel load and heat effects on Northern mixed prairie and four prominent rangeland graminoids. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 71 p.
    • Johnson, C.M. 2002. Effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on the mixed-grass prairie in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 89 p.
    • Johnson, J.D. 2004. Restoring native species to crested wheatgrass dominated rangelands. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Buffalo Grass — Buchloe dactyloides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from