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St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze)

Also known as buffalo grass, buffalo turf.

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A rhizomatous perennial grass that primarily grows in seasonally dry tropical to subtropical climates; sometimes used as a turfgrass.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded
Expanded or Not Present
Native or Expanded or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species has a mostly pantropical distribution, but has expanded into new areas due to humans, both through intentional planting as a turfgrass, and because it can survive and spread on its own in mowed lawns. Its exact native range is not known and different authors report different ranges. Our map, which shows considerable uncertainty, considers it native to parts of the southeastern US but having spread both north and west. We have marked the entirety of its new range Expanded because it is largely contiguous with the native range. It also is found in Mexico with both native and expanded populations; we have yet to build this portion of its range map.


In the wild, this grass is primarily found in coastal habitats. It has benefitting greatly from humans, as it is able to survive in lawns and regularly mowed areas, including where it is not intentionally planted, and it also thrives in pastures and ranches.


This species is sometimes grown in lawns or as a turfgrass in tropical to subtropical areas. It tends to be high-maintenance and is usually not the best choice of a lawn grass.

Stenotaphrum secundatum (St. Augustine grass) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Stenotaphrum secundatum (buffalo grass) | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Stenotaphrum secundatum | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze | Plants of the World Online (POWO) (About This Site)

Stenotaphrum secundatum | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Stenotaphrum secundatum | Flora of North America (About This Site)