Cenchrus ciliaris

Cenchrus ciliaris

Common Names

Bloubuffelgras (afrikaans)
Blue Buffalo Grass (english)


Genus Cenchrus
Species ciliaris
SA Plant Number
Basionym Cenchrus ciliaris


Cenchrus ciliaris is a tufted, shrubby perennial grass with bright green to blue-green leaves that are up to a metre long.
The grass culms are jointed, and roots often arise at these joints or nodes.

The flower spikes are bristly and cat-tail like, carried on stalks just above the leaves. Tiny little pale reddish-brown flowers make up the spike from August to April.

Plant in full sun (a little bit of shade at some stage of the day is okay). It grows on all soil types but seems to prefer sandy, limy and stony soils. It is unfussy about garden soil, as long as it is well drained.

This is a great addition to a wildlife garden as it is palatable, leaves make good nesting material for weaver birds and other finches, seeds attract seed-eating birds, and the thick tufts make good refuges for small wildlife.

In a grassland garden, plant Blue Buffalo grass at the back to avoid it swamping out shorter, less robust grasses.

Size up to 1m


Excellent for a Wildlife Garden:
A palatable grass and the leaves are good nesting material for many bird species.



Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga

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