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.

Identification Guide

Photo of bottle brush seedhead

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.


Photo of rough rachis

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.


Photo of hairy ligule

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.

Identification guide to different grasses

Additional Resources

Buffelgrass Images