Title

Low-Mowing Tolerance in Buffalograss

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Crop Science

Volume

40

Issue

5

Publisher

Crop Science Society of America

Publication Date

2000

First Page

1339

Last Page

1343

DOI

10.2135/cropsci2000.4051339x

Abstract

Drought-tolerant turfgrasses that can tolerate low mowing heights need to be identified in order to obtain reduction in water use required of turfgrass in many locations. We have begun evaluation and selection of buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] at typical golf course fairway mowing heights. A large number of accessions originating from throughout the Great Plains of North America, with the majority from the northern Plains, are being maintained at 1.6-cm mowing heights. Seedlings from a polycross of six females and four males provided six half-sib families to observe under similar conditions. Turfgrass quality and genetic color differed significantly among entries in the trials. Several vegetatively propagated genotypes yielded high-quality turf and exhibited vigorous and competitive growth under low mowing. When data were analyzed by gender, female genotypes performed better than male or monecious types. Genotypes marginally hardy in Nebraska were not hardy when maintained at low mowing heights. Seeded varieties performed well for fall color, probably because of greater genetic diversity. Preliminary selection may be accomplished at higher mowing heights prior to the more costly and time-consuming low-mowing evaluations. Results indicate that low-mowing tolerance may be heritable in buffalograss.