Foxtail Buffalo Grass

© N.Dreber


Foxtail buffalo grass (Cenchrus ciliaris)


Foxtail buffalo grass is a perennial that reaches a height of about 1 m, its blades being 8 mm in width. This grass is tufted and its inflorescence is a thick cylindrical spike. The small spikes are surrounded by many curvy bristles growing from its short stalk. It is a palatable grass and fed on by grazing herbivores.


This grass is palatable and well grazed, yielding high leaf quantities. It becomes less palatable as it matures. It struggles to establish itself in clay soil but grows well once it is established.


This grass is widely distributed across Southern and Central Africa, as well as the Mediterranean. It grows in hot, arid regions in all types of soil, but prefers sandy and other well-drained soils.


Foxtail buffalo grass flowers in Southern Africa from August to April.

Field Notes

Preferring to grow in hot and arid areas, this grass is resistant to drought. It has been exported to countries like Australia who were in need of a fodder grass.