Stenotaphrum secundatum

Buffalo grass

Family: Poaceae

Origin: Africa, North and South America

Buffalo grass growing wild.
The buffalo grass seedheads are hard and flattened with a row of seeds down the sides.
Photo credit: Andrea Julian

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Not a legally declared pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Dense, mat-forming perennial grass. Stolons are stout and creeping. Leaves are < 10 x 1.2 cm, flattened and alternate with rounded tips. Seed head is distinctively flattened with a row of seeds down each side.

What you need to know

Although buffalo grass is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.


Coastal areas, dunes, riparian and forest margins, pasture, roadsides.


Seeds dispersed by wind, water and attachment to animal pelts. Vegetative spread from stolon fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and movement of contaminated vehicles.

Impact on environment

Smothers native vegetation and suppresses seedling recruitment.


Site management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Foliar spray with 150ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 150ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

For infestations amongst desirable broadleaf species, foliar spray with 60ml haloxyfop-P-methyl per 10L of water.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Stalks of purple flowers from the buffalo grass.
Buffalo grass grows fast, forming dense long-lived mats.
Photo credit: Andrea Julian
A scraggly cluster of buffalo grass.
Buffalo grass smothers and excludes other species.
Photo credit: Andrea Julian