These stunning microscopic photos of Buffalo Grass reveal the barbs which caused the old style Buffalo grasses to be both scratchy and irritating to the skin. Equally as amazing is the clear PROOF that these photos provide as to why the new Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses are indeed so soft to touch, walk on and play on.
Professional microscopic photos taken by Peter Kinchington
Special thanks to Ozbreed Turf - suppliers of quality Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses including Palmetto and Sapphire.
See Part 2 of our microscopic photos of Buffalo Grass here - varieties include Sir Walter, Matilda and Old Sydney.
Buffalo grass has been in use as a home lawn for a very long time, and has always been known in the past for it's scratchy feel which irritated kids of all ages. As a result, this wonderful grass variety fell out of favour and never reached it's full potential as a quality turf.
So the question remains, what is it about original Buffalo grass that makes it scratchy? And why are the new Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses soft?
These amazing new microscopic photos of Buffalo Grass reveal everything.
By looking at these stunning microscopic photos, we can see the leaf of all Buffalo grasses have an abundance of tiny barbs which are invisible to the naked eye.
These days there are many new and exciting varieties of Buffalo grass which have a very soft leaf that provides no skin irritation whatsoever to people or pets. They are soft to walk on under bare foot, and provide a pleasant soft surface for children to play on.
These varieties include Sapphire which has a finer leaf blade and the best shade tolerance of all Buffalo grasses, Matilda which is best known for it's unique "dwarf" characterisics, Sir Walter and Palmetto.
The irritation or softness of each Buffalo grass type depends on two main factors:
1. The arrangement of the barbs at the top of the leaf:
a) Old Sydney (Common Buffalo) has barbs which are staggered like sharks teeth, and which may possibly irritate the skin.
b) Whereas the Soft Leaf Buffalo types such as Palmetto, Matilda, Sir Walter and Sapphire, have their barbs in-line and more bent over, which removes all irritating effects and make the grass soft.
2. The presence or absence of barbs further down the leaf:
a) Once again, old style Buffalo has the same but milder saw-tooth pattern of barbs which irritate the skin.
b) Whereas the soft leaf Palmetto, Matilda, Sir Walter and Sapphire have no barbs whatsoever.
This is Part 1 of two articles...
See Part 2 of our microscopic photos of Buffalo Grass here - varieties include Sir Walter, Matilda and Old Sydney Common.
Visit the Buffalo Grass Lawn Care website for more information on Buffalo Grass.